Central PA Food Bank Receives $125K Grant to Expand Service in Northern Counties

Funding will finance purchase of new refrigerated truck for food pickup, delivery

WILLIAMSPORT – The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank has received a $125,000 grant through the Wal-Mart Foundation’s State Giving Program to purchase a refrigerated truck that will enable the organization to expand food pickup and delivery services in the rural counties of the state’s northern tier.

“Food distribution from the Williamsport warehouse to the northern counties served by the Food Bank continues to grow rapidly,” said Central Pennsylvania Food Bank Regional Director, Northern Tier, Eric Orndorff.

“Adding this truck to our fleet will enable the Food Bank to meet the ever-growing need. We are incredibly grateful to the Walmart Foundation for making this extremely generous donation, which will have an enormous positive impact in the communities we serve.”

“Wal-Mart has a strong presence throughout this region,” said Jason Klipa, Wal-Mart’s director of public affairs and government relations in Pennsylvania.

“Through this partnership with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, we hope to build on our commitment locally to bring more opportunities and benefits to the communities where we operate.”

Food distribution from the Food Bank’s Williamsport warehouse has practically doubled in the past four years, and transportation capabilities are at capacity. Right now, the Food Bank’s Williamsport fleet includes two non-CDL refrigerated trucks, at 24 feet and 14 feet, and two leased 24-foot CDL refrigerated vehicles. The new truck — a 26-foot vehicle with a 3,300-pound lift gate and Supra 850 refrigeration unit that can safely haul frozen product — will enable the Food Bank to double the amount of food it currently delivers and save on extra trips when securing donated food.

Delivery orders can weigh up to 14,000 pounds or cover 12 floor-pallet spaces. Being able to double-stack the pallets in the larger truck enables the Food Bank to freight 24 pallets, doubling capacity. Food distribution from the Williamsport facility will exceed 4 million pounds this year, and approximately 20 percent of this distribution is fresh produce.

The Food Bank estimates driving the new truck five days a week, accumulating between 25,000 and 30,000 miles per year in the rural and northern tier counties of Bradford, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga and Union.

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank serves more than 55,000 clients weekly via its food security network. That network includes more than 800 program partners in 27 counties covering approximately 18,000 square miles. Approximately 20 percent of the target population resides in the northern tier and rural counties served by the Williamsport warehouse.

In the past year, 10 new program partners have signed on to the northern tier network, bringing that membership to 225 partners. Of these, roughly 75 percent take delivery from food bank trucks. These agencies serve nearly 7,800 households, representing 20,000 individuals who receive food assistance.

The food bank began permanent operations in Williamsport in 2002 to address the growing issue of rural hunger and purchased the warehouse in 2010 to broaden the variety of foods it can deliver.

Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation over the last fiscal year gave more than $26.6 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Pennsylvania — a 34.6 percent increase over the prior year.

Globally, the company and its Foundation donated more than $13 billion to non-profit groups, surpassing the previous year’s total by more than $244 million. Total customer and associate giving totaled another $3.39 million.

In addition, Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart Foundation have committed $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in America. As part of its historic “Fighting Hunger Together” commitment, Wal-Mart donated 12.96 million pounds of food, or nearly 10.6 million meals, to Pennsylvania food banks in the last fiscal year.

Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s $125,000 grant was made possible through the Wal-Mart Foundation’s State Giving Program, which strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the United States.

To be considered for support, perspective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application. Applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at www.walmartfoundation.org/stategiving.

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