The Resource Connection, a 29-year-old nonprofit organization serving Calaveras and Amador Counties in California, received a Community Facilities grant to upgrade their food bank’s refrigeration capacity. By installing cold storage, they were able to accept increased donations of perishable food, including eggs from a local farmer and donated produce from local community gardens. This had a real impact on food bank clients, who were delighted to receive fresh food in their donation bags. In the words of food bank director Jeanne Hayward, recipients told her that, “the food was great, but thanks so much for the fresh vegetables.” The need for food aid in these rural counties has skyrocketed in the last couple of years, and the ability of the food bank to receive fresh and local food has enabled it to reach more clients with a greater diversity of food items.
For more information on the Community Facilities program, click here. Detailed examples of local and regional food projects eligible for this funding can be found in the February 26, 2010 Rural Development memo here.