Dayton Foodbank gets step closer to $2M funding for expansion

Funding to go toward expanding facility, offering additional services

The Foodbank in Dayton has reached the next phase in advocating for $2 million of federal funding to go toward building an additional facility on its property and providing additional services, including connecting the individuals it serves with their managed care providers, building new exam rooms, and expanding re-entry job training.

This expansion is the third and final phase of the Foodbank’s planned property addition. Its facility was 31,000 square feet prior to opening an additional 6,000-square-foot dry food storage and volunteer area in January.

Lee Lauren Truesdale, chief development officer with the Foodbank, said they anticipate opening a 4,500-square-foot freezer for the second phase of this expansion. Those additions were funded through separate funding. Phase three, which will include the funding the Foodbank is seeking from the federal level, will go toward a 7,500-square-foot building on the same property as its current facility, but not directly attached.

Truesdale explained the organization started advocating for the funding by working with the Dayton Development Coalition, gaining support through the coalition’s Dayton Region Priority Development and Advocacy Committee (PDAC). According to the Dayton Development Coalition, PDAC assists “in establishing regional priorities for funding public projects that benefit the economic development, health, education or quality of life in the region.”

The Foodbank continued to advocate in Washington D.C. as Truesdale said this was the organization’s first year in applying for congressionally directed funding.

“We’ve gone to the next step,” Truesdale said. The Foodbank heard from U.S. Rep. Mike Turner regarding how the $2 million in funding for this property addition is being included in a federal bill that will be named later this month. They are hopeful the bill will be passed later this year.

For the Foodbank, this means providing a “lasting impact” for the area.

“For over 40 years, we’ve worked to relieve hunger,” Truesdale said. “We need to do something more.”

The property addition aims to build on the Foodbank’s focus on health equity. The organization plans to get people connected with their managed care providers, as well as provide exam rooms for providers to use and additional space for re-entry job training.

“We feel very passionate about this work,” Truesdale said, explaining the Foodbank works with people re-entering the workforce from the criminal justice system.

“Our greatest gratitude goes out to Congressman Turner,” said Truesdale, who also thanked the Dayton Development Coalition and other local organizations and supporters for their help in promoting the Foodbank’s initiatives. “Without them, our project would not have had a chance to succeed.”

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