The Chattanooga Area Food Bank was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga to make necessary repairs and improvements to warehouse racking. The Food Bank warehouse serves as the intake point for more than 16 million pounds of food distributed per year to partner agencies and directly to clients through their food programs. With an anticipated growth of 26 percent in food intake over the next seven years, preventative, flexible and sustainable racking upgrades are vital to increase the amount of food stored safely in the warehouse, according to officials.
"As a member of Feeding America, the Food Bank receives annual expert reports on food insecurity in their 20-county service area. Currently, this amounts to 144,330 food insecure individuals, including more than 55,000 children across our region. In response to the need, the Food Bank launched an ambitious 10-year strategic plan in collaboration with Feeding America to increase food distribution to 24.1 million pounds to close the meal gap in our region by 2025. This will require a 26 percent increase in food intake and, consequently, more efficient storage space. This grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga will ensure the Food Bank is able to safely accommodate and ultimately distribute the additional food necessary to close the meal gap in Hamilton County and the entire 20-county service area by 2025," officials said.
“We are so grateful for the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga’s understanding of this vital need for the Food Bank,” said Mark Hilling, director of Operations for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. “Many times, efforts are geared toward our food distribution and food programs, but it is important for us to also focus on our infrastructure and plan accordingly for the increase of food intake we will experience over the coming years. We strive to be equipped to serve our communities and get food to the people who need it most, and having the proper warehouse storage for the food is an important step toward achieving that goal.”