Harkins, Merski: Nearly $220,000 in funding to help food banks meet greater demand

ERIE, May 21 – State grants totaling $219,243 will help three Erie food banks serve the greater numbers of residents impacted by food insecurity because of the COVID-19 pandemic, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today.

“Our local food banks have always played a key role in helping low-income families combat food insecurity,” Harkins said. “But when the pandemic hit, it drove up demand, bringing logistical challenges.

“Banks are partnering with new providers, such as farms, to meet the increased demand, but preparing, storing and transporting larger amounts of food requires additional resources. This funding is going to provide those resources so our local food banks can meet the needs of more families quickly and efficiently.”

The representatives said the funding is going to help these important community providers connect more people with food and help them combat food insecurity.

Merski said, “Fast, safe and efficient food distribution depends on the right equipment and transportation. This funding is going to help our local food banks purchase the additional equipment they need – such as refrigerated trucks and vehicles – to ensure that food gets to a broader sector of the community.”
The grants were awarded under the Food Recovery Infrastructure Grant Program and include

  • $95,000 to Emmaus Ministries.
  • $70,902 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania.
  • $53,341 to Adagio Health.

The grant program is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection and will serve 145 projects statewide. More information on the grants is available here.