Golden Harvest Food Bank Receives $3.7M Grant through Partnership with the City of Augusta

Staff Report

Monday, January 3rd, 2022

In partnership with the City of Augusta, Golden Harvest Food Bank has been awarded a 3.7 million Department of Community Affairs Grant. This grant will be used to increase the capacity of the Food Bank’s primary distribution center. The City of Augusta was the lead applicant in this grant, which will significantly impact food insecure families, children, and seniors in the 25 counties served by the Food Bank.

“Food insecurity has risen to the top as one of our region’s greatest challenges. Thanks to this funding, we now have a tremendous opportunity to amplify efforts to assist our most vulnerable populations,” said City Administrator Odie Donald, II. “Golden Harvest has a long history of supporting Augustans in crisis, through this partnership and new resources we move one step closer to eradicating hunger for so many in our region.”

This DCA funding comes through the CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act provided funding to the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the coronavirus pandemic among communities of persons earning low and moderate-income. The Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA) requested that portions of the grant be distributed among the eight Georgia Food Banks it serves, including Golden Harvest.

Golden Harvest Food Bank unveiled a strategic plan in September detailing plans to close an 8.8 million meal gap annually across the Food Bank’s 25-county service territory. The Food Bank’s plan aims to bridge this meal gap by increasing food distribution until the need for food assistance is fully met, distributing 20.3 million meals annually by 2030. According to Feeding America’s projections, 1 in 7 people within the Food Bank’s 11,000 square mile service area are now struggling with hunger.

This grant will be utilized to fund 75% of the construction of a new warehouse facility to provide both produce packing and distribution. The facility will also serve as a Community Impact Hub, housing supportive services for Golden Harvest’s more than 175 community partners. 25% of the project costs will be raised by the Food Bank through community and matching gifts. Construction is expected to begin in mid 2022.

"Golden Harvest Food Bank is grateful to be linking arms with the City of Augusta, Augusta Economic Development, and the CSRA Regional Commission in response to food insecurity.” said President and CEO Amy Breitmann. “These funds are being allocated for the construction of a new warehouse facility and much-needed space for our team to distribute increased healthy food and build necessary programs. We have a huge challenge ahead of us to bridge the meal gap in our area and are thankful for this grant and ongoing support from our community.”