Food insecurity is an alarming issue impacting many families all over the United States, including here in Cambria County.
A few weeks ago, multiple organizations around Johnstown received grant funding from the American Rescue Plan Act where a total of nearly 800-thousand dollars were awarded to organizations to help issues like food insecurity.
Organization leaders we spoke with believe the grant money will allow them to make a difference with food insecurity right here in our own backyard.
“We were absolutely thrilled to find out that we were funded for the food panty project”
Ashley Flynn, the Director of the Cambria County library adds, “and we were fortunate to be able to be awarded this funding from the city.”
Brad Burger and Ashley Flynn, are two out of the five food applicants who were granted money from the city of Johnstown and American Rescue Plan Act which will help with food insecurity in Johnstown.
“We are really grateful and excited to have this funding to be able to work towards the food insecurity program” says Flynn, “we see a lot of folks in our community and our neighborhood who are struggling with food insecurity and we know that well be able to make a positive impact here”.
The Cambria County library association and the Moxham food pantry each received two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
“So part of that will be offering snacks after school with our programming. Then in the spring, summer and fall we will have a really exciting community garden aspect as well” says Flynn.
Flynn adds, currently some of the library staff will bring in their own snacks to give out during their after school programs where the grant money would help provide those snacks, but also supplies for the garden where kids will learn how to plant, tend and harvest.
Burger says the grant money his organization received is “for a new food pantry facility here in Moxham, serving the greater Moxham area. The facility itself is a little over 35 hundred square feet and its going to be all sustainable, it’s going to have solar panels on the roof, it’s going to be all electric.”
Burger says adding a food pantry to the Moxham area of Johnstown is critical, but also will help expand other programs they offer such as job search assistance.
Both Burger and Flynn want the Johnstown community to know “We are here as a resource to help end food insecurity issues for this area of the city” says Burger.
The organization leaders also say they are waiting for instructions from the city for how to spend the grant money, and as soon as they get the green light, they are ready to make a difference.
If you or someone you know is facing food insecurity, there is help available.