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Community Foundation Awards $50,000 to Greater Washington County Food Bank for Protein

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The Washington County Community Foundation (WCCF) announced today that it has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Greater Washington County Food Bank to purchase shelf-stable protein for distribution to the more than 2,800 Washington County clients served by the Food Bank.

“This grant is the perfect complement to the fresh fruits, vegetables, bakery items, canned product, and other grocery items we provide to our clients on a monthly basis,” said Connie Burd, Executive Director, Greater Washington County Food Bank. “Protein is typically the most expensive item we purchase, but it is vitally important to providing a balanced and nutritious diet. This grant will enable us to include two cans of protein in each client’s monthly food box for an entire year! Protein items will include canned tuna, canned chicken, peanut butter, etc., and will be purchased in bulk to obtain the best prices.”

This grant is being made from the WCCF’s Close to Home Disaster and Emergency Fund. Created in March of 2020, the Fund has awarded more than $500,000 in grants, with about 27% of that amount awarded to the Greater Washington County Food Bank. All grants from the Fund were made possible by contributions from donors who responded generously to the Foundation’s appeal for financial support during COVID-19.

“With the pandemic we knew that food insecurity would be a significant and ongoing need in Washington County,” remarked Betsie Trew, President & CEO, Washington County Community Foundation. “We wanted to help the Food Bank to prepare for the increased need so the very first grant we issued from our Close to Home Fund was to the Food Bank to purchase packing supplies needed for the Food Bank’s new delivery system, Truck to Trunk. Subsequent grants were issued to the Food Bank to purchase food and to cover increased operational costs during the pandemic.”

Located at 909 National Pike West in Brownsville, the Greater Washington County Food Bank provides services throughout Washington County towards its mission to form lasting solutions to hunger insecurity through effective distribution systems; to educate and empower the needy in seeking positive lifestyle changes; and to create awareness through individual and community partnerships. In addition to providing groceries through its 31 distribution sites, the Food Bank operates a thrift store which generates excess revenue that is used to support other programs. The Food Bank also operates The Farm which is located at the 24-acre property of the Food Bank, with the function and capabilities of growing fruits and vegetables for the clients the Food Bank serves. Currently, The Farm hosts several hydroponic containers for growing, is developing a fully-functional greenhouse space, a 100-tree orchard of mixed fruits, and raised beds for gardening. Through its Healthy Habits Training Center, the Food Bank offers various classes related to food preparation and nutrition, gardening techniques, and life skills. Earlier this year, the Food Bank installed a 200 kW solar array which will nearly cover the Food Bank’s annual energy costs.

“In addition to the nutritional value of this grant, we hope that it will also serve to encourage others to support the Greater Washington County Food Bank financially to help alleviate hunger in Washington County,” added Trew. “The pandemic has been especially hard on low to moderate income families, and many are seeking food assistance for the first time. Whether donors choose to give directly to the Food Bank, or through our Close to Home Fund, we encourage those who are financially able, to give close to home.”

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About the Washington County Community Foundation

The mission of the Washington County Community Foundation is to improve the quality of life in Washington County by promoting and facilitating philanthropy. It was one of the first community foundations in the country to be approved for the rigorous National Standards for Community Foundations and was re-accredited in 2020. With charitable assets of more than $50 million, it is the largest publicly-supported grant-making foundation in Washington County and cumulatively has provided more than $20 million in grants.