Longietti, Brooks: Grant of more than $22,000 to support community food bank veterans’ program

HARRISBURG, Feb. 28 – A state grant of $22,102 will bolster a local food bank’s ongoing efforts to address hunger and food insecurity among Mercer County’s veterans and military families, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer, and state Sen. Michele Brooks, R-Crawford/Mercer/Erie/Warren, announced today.

The grant from the state Veterans’ Trust Fund to Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County will go to support the organization’s MilitaryShare program — a special food distribution program that helps veterans and current military personnel. 

“The funding announced today is especially good news because it will help support a program that has been particularly successful in helping our area veterans,” Longietti said. “Supplies under the program are distributed discretely, outside the general public food distribution system, which helps veterans and their families maintain their pride and dignity.

“The system also helps increase program participation for our county’s large number of veterans, which allows us to give back to these members of our community who have spent their lives in service to us.”  

Brooks agreed, adding, “This is another opportunity to assist our veterans, and I want to thank the Community Food Warehouse for their efforts, as well as the many citizens who so generously donated to the Veterans Trust Fund, by buying ‘Honoring Our Veterans’ license plates or donating $3 through the check-off box on their motor vehicle registrations and renewals.”

Mimi Prada, the food bank’s agency/public relations manager and grant writer, said the grant would go a long way toward helping area veterans and service members.

“We are so appreciative of this funding to assure that our veterans and active military personnel and their families have food on their tables through our special food distributions for the next two years,” Prada said.

The VTF grant is part of a package awarded to 29 veterans’ support organizations statewide. Administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the VTF is funded by Pennsylvanians who donate $3 when applying for or renewing their driver’s license, photo ID, or a motor vehicle registration. The VTF also receives proceeds from the sale of the “Honoring Our Veterans” license plate and from private donations.