Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today congratulated the Ajo Community Food Bank for receiving a $40,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to purchase new food storage equipment and build a new shade structure.
The Food Bank is among 145 groups in 37 states to receive portions of the $167.8 million being distributed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Recovery Act funds this week. The grant is funded through the USDA’s Rural Development program, which provides support for public facilities and infrastructure in rural areas.
“All over America, small grants like this are making it possible for businesses and community groups to help their neighbors,” Grijalva said. “This kind of assistance means a great deal to the Food Bank and to the people who will now get the healthy food they couldn’t otherwise afford.”
The Ajo Food Bank offers food boxes, gardening classes and other goods and services to the Ajo, Lukeville and Why communities. According to 2008 data cited by the National Center for Children in Poverty, 47 percent of Arizona children live at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, making the Food Bank’s services especially crucial during the economic downturn.
The Ajo center plans to build a new walk-in freezer to accept frozen meat and other goods, which it had not previously done. Matching funds from Pima County will be used to build a separate walk-in cooler for produce. Both structures will be protected by a new overhead shade screen to keep the air conditioning engines at safe temperatures.
For more information, contact Tony Bruno at (520) 622-0525.