A $1 million state investment in the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank will have an impact on Indiana and 10 other southwestern Pennsylvania counties.
The state Office of the Budget’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program awarded $1 million of the $5 million sought by the food bank for renovations to its existing complex in the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Riverplace City Center of Duquesne.
The food bank’s partners include the Indiana County Community Action Program Inc., which has a food pantry at 1849 S. Sixth St. in White Township, as well as an ongoing food distribution program run by volunteers in multiple locations throughout the county.
“Their expansion will definitely benefit ICCAP and the other (GPCFB) partners to increase our ability to receive and distribute more produce to those who are most vulnerable and need the food,” ICCAP Executive Director Michelle Faught said, “especially since everyone knows how costly it is to eat healthy.”
The grant was awarded in the same recent round of RACP awards in which $1 million was awarded to Indiana Regional Medical Center to develop a former bank property in the vicinity of the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, a short drive from the main hospital complex in White Township.
“RACP funds will be used for building construction costs, which include expansion of the current facility (36,475 square feet) for staff offices and a new model pantry, renovation of current areas (63,585 square feet) for greater efficiency and safety, and fixtures and equipment, such as coolers and cold docks, warehouse racking, IT networking and furniture,” GPCFB said in its filing with the state agency.
The application also noted “renovations to our current building include a new cold dock, additional refrigerator, and cold repack room to ensure produce remains fresh,” as well as a redesigned warehouse with “straight line access from the docks to storage areas to increase efficiency and safety. (The) volunteer work area is consolidated, and tables, chairs and lockers provided.”
The application also notes the Duquesne food bank’s plan for “an open space welcome center at the front (of the building, which) will have two adjacent meeting rooms.”