The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners and Second Harvest of South Georgia received $18 million in grants to expand the capacity of the regional food bank through a new facility. The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) provided grants under the federal CARES Act for the Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) program.
The grants represent a significant investment in rural South Georgia and enable Second Harvest to increase its reach and better serve those in need in Lowndes County and surrounding areas.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, food banks across the U.S. were stretched beyond normal levels due to the increased demand for food assistance. Second Harvest, which serves 26 counties, operates in a facility built in 1996 that is no longer equipped to handle the scope of hunger and disaster relief work within its expanded service region.
Lowndes County Board of Commissioners has long recognized that Second Harvest of South Georgia is critical infrastructure in the community. When approached about this potential grant, the county saw an opportunity to help the food bank expand its capacity and programming to meet the region’s needs for a lifetime. The Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority is providing a $500,000 grant toward site infrastructure for the project.
“Lowndes County is pleased to have the resources available to partner with Second Harvest of South Georgia on their new state-of-the-art food bank facility through DCA’s CDBG-CV grants,” said Chairman Bill Slaughter, Lowndes County Board of Commissioners. “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.”
Recognizing the extraordinary challenges faced by Georgia’s food banks, DCA saw an opportunity to address these needs by providing transformational funding for capital projects in rural areas.
“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,” said Second Harvest CEO Frank Richards. “We will be able to grow programs that have been constricted by our current capacity and establish new programs to reach those who are slipping through the cracks of the safety net.”This project is in partnership with Lowndes County, Second Harvest of South Georgia, Southern Georgia Regional Commission, and the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority.