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Clarion, Forest Counties Food Pantry Programs to Benefit from Revitalization Project

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 @ 12:12 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

food bankCLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) – Multiple food pantry programs in the Clarion and Forest County areas who work in conjunction with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania will benefit from Revitalization Project funding.

The nearly $18 million in tax credits through the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) announced on Monday to help support 136 community revitalization projects across the Commonwealth include a $272,871 tax credit for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania provides food to those in need within eleven counties of northwest Pennsylvania, including Clarion and Forest Counties, while also working to create awareness and educating the community on the realities of hunger. It is the largest nonprofit food distribution organization in northwest Pennsylvania, storing and distributing millions of pounds of grocery products annually to assist hundreds of nonprofit member agencies in the region that directly serve people in need.

Second Harvest secures food donations by cultivating partnerships with a wide range of sources, including but not limited to food and grocery manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, government agencies, individuals, and other organizations. Second Harvest then works to coordinate and facilitate the movement of donated items to its many member agencies throughout the region.

“Statistics show that Clarion, Forest, Jefferson, and Venango have poverty rates that are higher than the State average,” said Second Harvest Development Manager Zachary Webb said.

“Second Harvest’s project for the NAP tax credit program is the distribution of food to member agencies, including within those four counties. In turn, those agencies will deliver this food to impoverished clients free of charge. This will be done through programs that may include traditional food pantry distributions, shelters, soup kitchen meals, Produce Express mobile distributions or BackPack Programs.”

In Clarion County, member agencies that receive food from Second Harvest include Clarion First United Methodist Church Food Pantry, Cornerstone Church of God, Keystone Smiles Learning Center – O.S.N.E. – at Risk School, Knox Produce Express, Pennies from Heaven Redbank Valley, Share-a-Care Food Pantry, St. Michael’s Church Food Pantry, Strattanville UMC Produce Express, and Zion Jesus Food Pantry.

In Forest County, member agencies that receive food from Second Harvest include East Forest BackPack Program, North Clarion/Marienville Food Pantry, West Forest Elementary School BackPack Program, and Western Forest County Food Pantry.

Recipients of these programs, who receive food free of charge, include those who are unemployed and underemployed, the homeless, senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, families in crisis situations, and children.

Charitable Food Programs like Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania are just one of the components of the Neighborhood Assistance Program. NAP has five main components: the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP), Special Program Priorities (SPP), the Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP), the Charitable Food Program (CFP), and the Enterprise Zone Program (EZP). A description of each of these components is available within the NAP fact sheet.

NAP provides tax credits to businesses that donate capital to support projects that address neighborhood and community problems – particularly in low-income areas that need it most. NAP can be used for projects in categories including affordable housing, community services, crime prevention, education, job training, charitable food, blight, special population issues, veteran’s initiatives, and long-term community revitalization.

“Fostering public-private collaboration and encouraging investment are some of the best ways we can revitalize low-income areas,” Governor Wolf said. “When we lift up our distressed communities, we lift up the entire Commonwealth.”

The new approvals raise the four-year total under the Wolf administration to nearly $72 million in NAP tax credits supporting 480 projects statewide. The investment will result in more than $305.4 million in additional funds leveraged through corporate contributions.

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