Harrisburg, Jul 15, 2014 -- Contact:
Dawn Bonsell (717) 237-2286
USDA Helps Local Food Pantry Expand
HARRISBURG, PA – July 17, 2014 - U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director, Thomas Williams, today announced the expansion of the FaithCentre, Inc. food pantry in Bellefonte. The food pantry is now housed in a new facility on South Allegheny Street. A $195,000 Community Facilities loan and $26,000 grant were used to purchase the new building and make safety repairs, including a dumbwaiter to carry the food from the basement storage area to the first floor.
The demands for the recipient services at the FaithCenter, Inc. food pantry have greatly increased during the past couple of years and they could not effectively help the community in their previous rented space. Portions of the food distributed through this food bank will be bought and/or donated from local farmers and producers, thus supporting the “Know Your Farmer Know Your Food” (KYF2) initiative, a USDA-wide effort to create new economic opportunities by better connecting consumers with local producers. It is the start of understanding where your food comes from and how it gets to your table.
"This funding will help finance projects that are good examples of how USDA Rural Development is committed to making the lives of rural Pennsylvanians much better through the various programs we have to offer," Williams said.
USDA Rural Development's Community Facilities Program helps finance essential community facilities for public use in rural areas. These facilities include child care centers, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted-living facilities, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, public buildings and transportation. Through this program, USDA ensures that such facilities are available to all rural residents. These funds are available to public bodies and non-profit organizations. Funding for the projects is subject to the recipients meeting the terms of the loan and grant agreements.
"During the last fiscal year, our staff provided more than $100 million to essential community projects,” Williams said. “Providing the funding for new buildings, vehicles, communications and public safety equipment shows we are committed to helping these communities with the funds they need to upgrade or maintain essential services."
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.
USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
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