Monday, December 2, 2019

Grant Helps Washington County Food Bank Realize Energy Savings, Engage Community On Renewable Energy

On December 2, the Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin visited the Greater Washington County Food Bank to announce it has been approved for a $104,500 Neighborhood Assistance Program grant to enhance its energy saving efforts.
“This grant will pay dividends moving forward for both the food bank and the community, allowing the food bank to reduce its energy costs in order to support more families in need,” said Sec. Davin. “That is exactly the intention of these investments—engaging local partners to help fund the projects that will have a meaningful and significant impact on the cities and towns of the commonwealth, and the people who call them home.”
Through the grant, the food bank will cut in half its daily energy costs and the daily electric needs of the farm’s five hydroponic & aquaponics units. 
To raise community awareness about solar power’s use in combating greenhouse gas emissions and its role in reducing dependence on fossil fuels, the food bank will host local school districts, universities, and community members for learning sessions on real-life application of solar energy as a renewable green energy source.
The grant was made possible through assistance from UPMC, Northwest Bank, and Washington Financial, companies that will receive tax credits in exchange for their investment in the project.
GWCFB has provided groceries and nutritional information and education to food insecure residents of Washington County for more than 33 years.
It is estimated that there are currently more than 25,000 people who are food insecure living in the county, more than 30 percent of which are children under the age of 18 and more than 20 percent of which are seniors. 
The food bank assists the community through its network of 48 distribution sites and seven agencies located throughout the county and supports several after school food programs that help ensure food insecure students have something to eat over the weekend.
The organization’s mission is to form lasting solutions to hunger insecurity through effective food distribution systems; to educate and empower the needy in seeking positive lifestyle changes; and, to create awareness through individual and community partnerships.
“The Greater Washington County Food Bank appreciates this additional funding, which will allow us to reduce our energy footprint, engage the community, and allocate resources that will further our mission to support the food insecure of Washington County,” said GWCFB Executive Director Connie Burd. “Moving forward, this reduction in utility expense represents an opportunity to fund other important programs at our facility.”
For more information on this program, visit DCED’s Neighborhood Assistance Program webpage.
[Posted: December 2, 2019]

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