Athens – Grants from the American Rescue Plan are being used to help the Mercer County Food Bank purchase a building that can continue to operate.
The Hellful Harvest Food Bank has been helping people in the Speedway area of Mercer County since it opened in 2020, said food bank owner and manager Lisa Davis.
Davis appeared before the Mercer County Commission during the commission’s August meeting to request a grant from the Rescue Program of America to help buy the food bank building. wants to sell it, and the food bank is unable to find new housing, she told the commission.
Commissioner Bill Archer said the county commission expected to approve the ARP grant at a specially convened meeting on August 23.
“We’re going as fast as we can,” Archer said Friday.
Commissioner Greg Puckett said the approved grant is up to $260,000.
“We may be able to bring the price down, but we haven’t heard anything about it yet,” Puckett said.
The size of the grant will depend on the amount needed, he said.
“We also reached out to local foundations to see if we could get a match or local fundraising opportunity,” said Puckett.
Hellful Harvest will purchase two buildings at 3048 Hampton Road in Athens, Davis said. Food banks are seeing more and more people seeking food as food and utility prices continue to rise.
“Our numbers have increased 260% since 2020,” she said. “We are doing distributions every Tuesday, 350 to 450 households, sometimes the best. Two weeks ago we had it. have increased significantly.”
Davis estimates that 75% of food recipients are elderly. Some walk two miles (2 miles) to Helpful Harvest to get food.
“There are 150 seniors who qualify for the supplement box provided by the ARP (American Rescue Plan),” she said.
The Helpful Harvest Food Bank will not be open on Tuesday, August 16th so we can restock. We will reopen on Tuesday, August 23rd.
Davis added that there are no plans to permanently close food banks.
Monetary donations can be sent to Hellful Harvest Food Bank, PO Box 154, Athens WV 24712.
Greg Jordan can be reached at [email protected].