Last week, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners funded a new expansion at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective via a $7 million grant to add a 19,000 square-foot addition to the foodbank’s facility in Grove City.
The grant is made up of funds from the American Rescue Plan, of which Franklin County will receive more than $255 million over the coming two years. The new addition will include a 14,000 square-foot freezer that will double storage and picking locations, and four new dock doors for loading, unloading, and handling perishable foods.
“Many of our neighbors have been badly hurt by the pandemic and its effects on the economy. This grant is an investment to support them as they work their way back to where they were before, and because no one should be hungry in a community like ours,” said board of commissioners president, Kevin Boyce.
The Mid-Ohio Food Collective handles more than 66 million pounds of food per year and provides more than 140,000 meals each day across 20 central and eastern Ohio counties, numbers that have only increased during the pandemic.
“Our community continues to grow and many parts of it are thriving, but as we grow we’re also going to continue to see neighbors who are struggling, literally, to put food on the table,” said commissioner John O’Grady. “The Mid-Ohio Food Collective has been an important part of the safety net here in central Ohio for a long time, and it’s neve been more important than it is today.”
On July 15, the commissioners held a public hearing at which they invited Franklin County residents to describe the needs they see in the community and ways that they think the American Rescue Plan funding could be used to continue to help our community recover following the pandemic. Hundreds of residents attended the hearing, either in person or virtually, and more than 30 residents spoke, while dozens more provided feedback via email.
“Franklin County takes care of families in their time of need, and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective has been a critical support to so many residents throughout the pandemic,” said commissioner Erica Crawley. “We are proud that this investment will nourish hungry residents and sustain our communities for many years to come.”