$11.4 Million Investment in Cold Storage Infrastructure for Food Banks
December 16, 2021
First Lady Frances Wolf joined members of the General Assembly and representatives from the charitable food network at Mary’s Shelter in Reading to announce an $11.4 million investment in cold storage infrastructure for food banks serving every county of Pennsylvania.
“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,” said First Lady 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 program will fund food banks across the commonwealth, through an award of $11,392,345 to Feeding Pennsylvania, including:
• Central PA Food Bank – $2,585,000, serving Adams, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, and Union counties
Governor Tom Wolf has worked to simultaneously support the charitable food system and agriculture industry throughout his administration by continuously investing in programs that connect surplus agricultural foods with families in need and funding projects to decrease food waste. Gov. Wolf first funded the Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System Program in 2015 and has since invested more than $20 million to support farmers and families facing food insecurity.
In 2019, the Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program was created to address cold storage needs for food banks and reduce waste of fresh food. When COVID-19 came to Pennsylvania in 2020, Gov. Wolf expanded the program and increased funding from $4 million to $9.6 million ensure food needs were met. This Cold Storage Infrastructure Program will work further meet the breadth of needs identified during the review process for the Food Recovery Infrastructure Program.
The Cold Storage Infrastructure Grant Program was championed by the House and Senate democrats.
For more on the Wolf Administration’s efforts to improve food security throughout the commonwealth, visit agriculture.pa.gov/foodsecurity.