Lowndes Co. and Second Harvest awarded $18M to help build new food bank

Some of the food Second Harvest has to offer (Source: WALB)
Some of the food Second Harvest has to offer (Source: WALB)
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 10:43 AM EST
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LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) - The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners says the county and Second Harvest of South Georgia were awarded $18 million in grants to create a new food bank for the area.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs distributed this money via the federal CARES Act for the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus program.

The press release says this huge investment in rural Georgia will help the food bank feed hungry people in Lowndes County and beyond as its reach stretches even farther.

Second Harvest of South Georgia was pushed to its limits during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the demand for food assistance spiked. Its current facility was built in 1996 and was not big enough to handle the amount of hunger and disaster relief work the public expects the organization to address, the release says.

The board says Second Harvest is a crucial cog in the community. The county hopes the grant’s funding will help the food bank meet the region’s needs for a lifetime. In addition to the federal grant, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority provided a $500,000 grant for the project’s site infrastructure.

Board Chairman Bill Slaughter says the county is excited to utilize these resources and help Second Harvest.

“It has been a true honor to watch the team at Second Harvest serve our community in the capacity they have throughout the years and especially in the last two years.  With these grants, Second Harvest will truly transform their organization and allow them to reach even more families when in need,” Slaughter says.

Second Harvest CEO Frank Richards says the money will allow the organization to grow and create new programs that were constricted by its current capacity.

“The impact of an investment like this is a game-changer, and we are blessed to have leadership in Lowndes County that embraces our future vision,” Richards says.

The board says construction of the new food bank is slated to begin in the fall. The funding for the project isn’t complete; Second Harvest will soon announce a capital campaign to collect the remaining money needed for it.

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