How Georgia Mountain Food Bank will use $2.8 million in federal grants

The Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association Inc. received $150 million, by far the largest award, to assist hoteliers in the state.

The money will not come suddenly. The food bank and other organizations still have to go through a 6-8 week review process, and the money will be used to reimburse 2022-24 expenses.

“Our (food) donations are so pitiful right now, we’re going to have to figure out how we’re going to meet the needs in front of us, so it’s going to go very, very far for that,” Blackstock said. “It’s expensive to buy food and donate it.”

Most of the food bank’s donations come from retailers, she said, and their supplies have been affected by inflation, supply chain issues and an ongoing labor shortage.

The food bank cannot use the new funds for its expansion, for which it received another $2.2 million grant late last year. The food bank will add approximately 10,000 square feet over two floors with more refrigerated storage and office space to its facility at 1642 Calvary Industrial Drive.

The total cost of the project is approximately $3 million, with the food bank collecting the difference.

Grant funds for this project are due to be spent by the end of 2023, and although construction has not started, Blackstock said they are still on track to be completed by then.

This article was originally published by the Gainesville Times, a sister publication of Forsyth County News.

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