Cleveland could give millions in rescue act funds to food bank serving almost half of residents


CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland city officials gathered on the steps of city hall Tuesday at 11:30 to announce that funds could be given to help the Greater Cleveland Food Bank continue its desperately needed services.

The $5 million in funds would be coming from part of the city’s American Rescue Act award and would support the food bank as it has taken on a surge of those in need because of the pandemic – if legislation passes on Wednesday in a council meeting.

The food bank has served nearly 400,000 people, with at least one-third of those seeking emergency food service for the first time ever.

Besides giving direct food support, the food bank also helps residents sign up for other needed programs including food stamps and more.

Council President Kevin Kelley, Councilman Mike Polensek, Food Bank President and CEO Kristin Warzocha were there to give remarks:

Warzocha says that they are now feeding almost half of Cleveland residents with their services.

She says they are continuing to work toward serving healthy food and in need of refrigerators to keep food fresh, sometimes having to turn food away because they have no place to store it.

For Kelley, he says it was seeing the line of cars at the muni lot for a food drive that prompted him to push for the legislation to help fund the food bank.

Polensek says they are doing God’s work daily by providing food for the needy and families that are under great stress.

“I can’t say enough good about the Greater Cleveland Food Bank,” Polensek said. “They are one of the best organizations that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with in my time at Cleveland City Council.”

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