HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania First Lady Frances Wolf, members of the General Assembly and representatives from the charitable food network joined together Thursday to announce an $11.4 million investment in cold storage infrastructure for food banks across the commonwealth.
The announcement was made at Mary's Shelter in Reading.
“It is critical that we turn the lessons learned throughout the pandemic into meaningful action that will make a difference in the lives of people in Pennsylvania,” Wolf. “This investment will result in a better, stronger, more resilient food system, which translates to a better, stronger, more resilient commonwealth.”
The COVID-19 Food Bank Cold Storage Infrastructure Program, funded by the American Rescue Plan, is a grant program that will allow Pennsylvania’s food banks to purchase, expand, or upgrade cold storage facilities to ensure that they can deliver fresh food to struggling families.
Eligible purchases include refrigerators, coolers, freezers, refrigerator trailers and cargo vans, building expansions, and more. This program will touch all 67 counties and is essential to addressing food insecurity and food waste.
The Central PA Food Bank, which serves a total of 26 Pennsylvania counties including Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin and Perry, received $2.585 million in funding.
The York County Food Bank received $150,000.
A total of $11,392,345 in funding was provided for 18 food banks across Pennsylvania.
"It's become very clear over the past year or so that food insecurity is a major problem not just in the commonwealth, but across the nation," said State Sen. Judy Schwank. "The investments the Wolf Administration is making in food banks will bolster our ability to get food into the hands of people who need it the most.
“Additionally, offering a great diversity of nutritious, fresh food products thanks to refrigeration units will greatly benefit the health of Pennsylvanians."