U.S. House approves $750K to help Foodlink expand storage, refrigeration capacity


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — September is Hunger Action Month and Foodlink in Rochester is one step closer to crucial funding to help those who are food insecure in our region.

Rep. Joe Morelle (D-25) held a press conference Wednesday morning to announce funding for infrastructure improvements to benefit Foodlink.

According to the congressman, the Foodlink Expansion Project was included in an appropriations package recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The request for $750,000 was submitted as part of this year’s Community Project Funding program. The congressman says the funding will help Foodlink expand its storage and refrigeration capacity.

“The COVID-19 pandemic forced too many Monroe County residents into food insecurity, leaving them without basic access to healthy food options,” Rep. Morelle said. “As we continue to combat this crisis, we must ensure families are able to provide for their children and put food on their tables. That is why I was proud to help secure funding in the House appropriations bill to allow Foodlink to better serve our community and deliver more healthy meals to families who need them.”

Rep. Morelle said the bill is now in the U.S. Senate’s hands, and he said if it’s passed in that chamber, President Joe Biden said he would sign it.

“We’re all working to get the Senate to address these community projects,” Rep. Morelle said. “Not that Foodlink isn’t well known, but needs like this don’t always get noticed in Washington which is why local representatives need to work so hard to address these issues.”

Joining the congressman for Wednesday’s press conference was Foodlink President and CEO Julia Tedesco.

“Over the past year we distributed more than 26 million pounds of food to our region — a 25% increase over any past year,” Tedesco said. “The pandemic has put a strain on our resources. This project would allow us to expand the operation that this community relies on to stay fed.”

She said this funding approval was even more important as the community recognizes Hunger Action Month.

“Hunger Action Month offers a critical opportunity to bring attention to the impact that poverty and food insecurity has on our communities, and the reality that thousands of households in our region are forced to make impossible choices between paying for food and other basic needs,” Tedesco said. “We are grateful that Congressman Morelle understands the severity of this issue, and for his advocacy and support on the federal level.”

Full press conference

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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