Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency Wins $50K

Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency Wins Walmart Foundation State Giving Grant

Auburn, New York – June 21, 2012 - Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency, Inc. has been selected as a recipient of the Walmart Foundation State Giving Grant program. The Agency competed with hundreds of applicants from across New York State for the highly coveted grant funds. This is the first time The Walmart Foundation has awarded any entity in Cayuga County with a monetary award from its State Giving Grant Program. The Agency’s project, entitled, “A Sustainable and Collaborative Approach to Hunger Relief,” has also been selected to represent New York State at Walmart’s 50th Anniversary celebration. The award amount for this project is $50,000.

The goal of this project is to provide food pantries in Cayuga and Seneca Counties with a means of developing a sustainable system of year-round food production, especially during the winter months, when food is scarce. The Agency will partner with the Calvary Food Pantry-BOCES Partnership Garden as well as several area food pantries and soup kitchens, to address hunger relief for Cayuga and Seneca County residents. By partnering with other food pantries and soup kitchens in the region, the Agency believes it can be more effective in reaching a larger number of food-insecure households.

Grant funds will be used by the Agency to build a passive greenhouse, or high tunnel, to grow fresh produce year-round. The Agency will work closely with its volunteer base to sow, cultivate and harvest fresh produce for low-income individuals and families who access its Food Pantry, Domestic Violence Safe House, Early Childhood Program and Supportive Housing Program for young adults. The Agency will also share fresh produce with other area pantries and soup kitchens. The Calvary Food Pantry-BOCES Partnership Garden, which is run by Kenneth and Audrey Mochel, will be using these grant funds to expand their garden to grow greater quantities and varieties of fresh produce to donate to area pantries, including specialty ethnic produce, for the rising populations of Hispanic and Haitian residents in Southern Cayuga County.

Nine food pantries and soup kitchens in Cayuga County and one in Seneca County will receive funds from this grant to purchase food supplies and toiletries for their customers, and have agreed to promote more fresh produce and low-fat foods in their offerings. They will also promote nutrition education and information about accessing supplementary services for their customers, such as WIC and SNAP (food stamp) referrals, and workforce development to encourage self-sufficiency. The potential number of people who may be impacted by this project includes the 12,476 people living below the poverty level in both Cayuga and Seneca Counties (U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2012).

A formal check presentation ceremony will occur at the Walmart store in Auburn on Thursday, June 28, at 10:00 AM.

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