CSX and the Conservation Fund Announce Grant Recipients; Improve Access to Healthy Food in Underserved Communities
ARLINGTON, Va. (Feb. 26, 2015) - CSX and The Conservation Fund, partners in a program aimed at improving the transportation and distribution of fresh, healthy food to communities in need, announced today grant awards to 10 charitable organizations in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Tennessee. Each organization will receive $10,000 to enhance food delivery services so that they can bring fresh, nutritious food to their communities.
In many underserved communities food distribution organizations, such as food pantries, encounter difficulty getting fresh, healthy food. Many producers and organizations also face challenges retaining quality and safety as they sell, store, package and distribute fresh food. As a result, more than 23 million Americans across the country have limited or no access to fresh produce, dairy, meats and seafood.
As a leading supplier of efficient rail-based freight transportation in
North America, CSX
recognizes the integral role that transportation plays in connecting
"At CSX, it's our job to connect communities through transportation every day, so we are proud to work with The Conservation Fund to support the local distribution of healthy and fresh food across many of the communities where we work and live," said Tori Kaplan, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, CSX. "Partnering with local organizations helps us live our commitment to improving the health and wellness of communities across our 21,000 miles of track."
The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit dedicated to finding conservation solutions that balance environmental and economic needs, has partnered with CSX to help address gaps in local food distribution and enhance delivery capabilities.
"With CSX's partnership, we're not only helping to connect America's families to fresh fruit and produce but we're also supporting our local farmers and working farms," said Kris Hoellen, Vice President of Sustainable Programs at the Conservation Fund. "The Healthy Food Transportation Grant Program is a clear win for American families and farmers."
The grant program supports organizations that distribute fresh produce and perishable food in the 23 states where CSX operates. Combined, the 10 recipient organizations provide nutritious food to approximately six million people per year, bringing nearly 118,000,000 pounds of food equaling 98,000,000 meals served each year.
Chattanooga Area Food Bank,
The Chattanooga Area Food Bank will use its funding to purchase two manual foot pedal clipping machines and associated supplies allowing them to efficiently bag bulk produce in smaller, easier to handle sizes. The organization leads a network of partners in eliminating hunger and promoting better health in its region. It purchases fresh food from local farmers in bulk since most of its partner agencies do not have the capacity to accept, transport, store and distribute 50 pound bags of potatoes, for example, nor do elderly clients and children in need have the ability to transport and cook 50 pounds of potatoes. The new machinery will allow them to package food in smaller quantities. Underserved and vulnerable populations will benefit from increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and the Food Bank's increased buying power will support local farmers and food systems.
The Deep South Community Agriculture Network (DSCAN),
DSCAN will use its grant to acquire a refrigerated truck, and insurance for aggregation and cooling space for products produced by a network of value chains in
Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. DSCAN is comprised of six
organizations working to develop chains in the following three sub-regions:
Southeast Alabama, the Mississippi Delta and a two-state sub-region of West
Alabama and East Mississippi. The organization
works to help African-American farmers achieve financial success. It sees
agricultural value chains through capacity support, coupled with first-hand
agricultural knowledge and deep relationships across communities, as a means
for black farmers to combine their resources to overcome these barriers by
fulfilling the increasing demand for local food in the region.
Farm Share, Inc.,
Farm Share will use its award to acquire more donated food from farmers and businesses throughout
and nearby states and transport it into Florida
communities to feed more low-income households. Food Share is a charitable
packinghouse dedicated to distributing nutritious food for people in need. It
administers a combination of produce recovery operations and USDA commodity
programs, and works within a network of nearly 1,000 community groups to help
distribute food to those who need it most in the state of Florida year round. The agencies receive
food from Farm Share warehouses and sister organizations in Homestead,
and , located in the heart of local farming
areas. Food Share also does daily direct-to-community food distribution to Pompano Beach, Fla. Florida's food deserts
and impoverished neighborhoods.
America Tampa Bay,
will use its grant funds to purchase a forklift to support its warehouse
operations and thereby increasing its capacity to load, move, and transport
additional fresh food over its service area (10 counties - 9,300 square miles)
in West Central Florida. The organization acts as the main hub for emergency
food supplies, distributing perishable and nonperishable food throughout 10
counties of West Central Florida: Hillsborogh, Pinellas, Pasco Polk, Citrus, America
Tampa Bay Sumter, Hardee, Highland,
Manatee and Hernando. Its mission is possible by redirecting food that would
otherwise be wasted, and providing it to organizations that can safely
distribute it to those in need.
Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank,
Comstock Park, Mich.
The organization will use its grant to purchase a Refrigerated Straight Truck which will expand its program capacity and broaden mobile pantry distribution to additional individuals within communities in need of fresh food in
Peninsula. Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank's Mobile Food
Pantry is particularly effective in areas where there is inadequate
"hunger infrastructure," such as a lack of food pantries or pantries
that are limited in hours or refrigerated store capacity. The Refrigerated
Straight Truck will bring 21 additional new distributions of fresh food
annually to more than 7,000 underserved, food-insecure individuals in the Upper Peninsula by January 2017.
Food Pantries for the Capital District, Inc.,
The grant will be used to order a greater quantity of food to support product and meat distribution to 53 food pantries serving 45,000 vulnerable and underserved people. The organization's food pantries fill a gap by providing a minimum of three days' worth of nutritious grocery items for many people on a monthly basis in
Rensselaer and . Saratoga
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Inc.,
Gleaners Food Bank will use its grant fund to purchase six 600-quart and one 200-quart portable food chests to increase portability and distribution of frozen protein items and fresh foods and produce to food-insecure residents through the Gleaners Mobile Pantry program and senior programming, including the pilot Senior Mobile Pantry program. Each Mobile Pantry truck is typically loaded with more than four tons of flash frozen meat, fresh product, dairy products, and high quality shelf-stable items. Clients "shop" for food items, preserving their dignity and ensuring the food they receive will be eaten.
The grant will be used to purchase a truck and refrigerated trailer to serve as a Grow Appalachia food aggregator, delivering perishable produce from
to markets and other hubs of distribution. Grow Appalachia supplies financial
aid and technical support to 43 nonprofit organizations and will use their
refrigerated truck to collect product from its growers in Kentucky and deliver it to markets, food
hubs, and other centers of distribution.
Lake-to-River Food Cooperative,
The grant funds will be used to purchase a delivery vehicle for transporting products from member farms and processing facilities to
Lake-to-River Food Cooperative locations. Lake-to-River
Food Cooperative serves people, schools and workplaces in need within food
deserts in Mahoning, Trumbull and . The cooperative has a weekly
delivery to four to eight schools, ensuring that students have the chance to
eat at least one healthy meal each day. One hundred percent of Columbiana Counties Youngstown schools offer free lunches.
CSX, based in
, is a premier
transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck
transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets,
including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural and consumer products.
For more than 185 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation's
economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major
metropolitan area in the eastern Jacksonville,
Florida United States, where nearly
two-thirds of the nation's population resides. It also links more than 240
short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major
population centers and small farming towns alike.
CSX is committed to helping communities it serves live healthier, greener, safer lives. The company recognizes the importance for these communities to gain regular access to locally grown, nutrient-rich, fresh food. That's why CSX is supporting these grants to enable local charitable organizations to transport and provide fresh food to people who need it, as part of a healthier lifestyle.
About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect
important lands and waterways for future generations. A hallmark of our work is
our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last,
they need to make economic sense. We strive to implement strategies that
support sustainable economic development, spark cutting-edge conservation and
bridge connections between people and the land. Top-ranked, we're advancing
vibrant, healthy communities. www.conservationfund.org
CSX Corporate Communications
The Conservation Fund