Chattanooga Area Food Bank Receives Grant From Community Foundation – The Chattanoogan
The Chattanooga Area Food Bank, Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia’s largest hunger relief organization serving 20 counties, announced the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga has awarded the Food Bank a grant in the amount of $20,000. This grant is to be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and other perishables to supplement The Emergency Food Assistance Program USDA Commodity Program for Hamilton County, with upcoming distributions in June, September and December.
In 2016, recognizing the Food Bank’s expertise in food safety, capacity and distribution, Chattanooga’s Youth and Family Development Department requested the Food Bank take ownership of Hamilton County’s TEFAP USDA Commodity Distribution. One of the many programs coordinated by the Food Bank, this particular program supplements the diets of low-income residents of Hamilton County by providing quarterly commodity (food) distributions at zero cost to the participant.
To qualify for TEFAP, an applicant may self-declare income or show proof of participation in one of the following means-tested programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Families First, Supplemental Security Income, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or documented residence in Public Housing. The Food Bank is the sole provider of TEFAP in Hamilton County.
Prior to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank’s management of TEFAP USDA Commodity Distribution, participants received shelf-stable, arbitrary foods only. Because of the importance of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables in one’s diet, the leadership of the Food Bank, in accordance with the Foundation’s mission, expanded the TEFAP USDA Commodity Distributions to include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and other nutrient dense foods. Supplementing the dry goods enables families to prepare well-balanced, wholesome and complete meals, said officials.
By the end of 2017, the program will provide 312,588 pounds of food (equivalent to 260,490 meals) to 2,082 families in need. Families and individuals served by the program receive over 40 pounds of food at each distribution.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, we will have the
underwriting needed to purchase the fresh fruits, vegetables, and perishables that are vital to supplementing these distributions in 2017,” said Gina Crumbliss, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. “This is expected to increase distributions by 129,108 pounds, which is the equivalent to 107,590 additional meals being served to our hungry neighbors in need.”