Budish Proposes $500,000 in Cuyahoga County Community Development Block Grant Funding to Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland

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Miranda Kortan: (216) 698-2546; mkortan@cuyahogacounty.us

If approved, funding will be used to purchase emergency food and open new hunger centers in Cuyahoga County

– Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced today a proposal to contribute $500,000 to Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland to assist with providing emergency food assistance and to support the opening of new hunger centers to meet the increased need for emergency food assistance. The proposal is set for review by the Cuyahoga County Board of Control on Monday, December 7th, and if approved, the County’s contribution will be part of the federal Community Development Block Grant fund.

In Cuyahoga County, nearly 200,000 people were considered food insecure before the pandemic. Research shows that economic crises brought on by the pandemic could push Cuyahoga County’s overall food insecurity rate to 20.8 percent by the end of 2020, a 31.1 percent increase from the 2018 rate.

“During this pandemic, the need for food assistance has never been greater. People who never thought they would need help are reaching out for help,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “That is why the County is proposing to provide a $500,000 contribution to Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland so that we can help these men, women, and children who now find themselves, possibly for the first-time, food insecure. Additionally, a $50,000 donation is being provided by a local anonymous philanthropic family with the hopes of encouraging other generous individuals in our community who can afford to do so to give to Hunger Network.

“I am grateful for Hunger Network’s tireless work to serve our residents in need and to end hunger in Cuyahoga County,”
said Budish.

With the County’s funding, Hunger Network plans to introduce between 5 and 6 new Hunger Centers in the coming months and increase fresh produce in its food supplies, as access to fresh fruits and vegetables is lower in the winter.

“During the pandemic, food insecurity has hit unprecedented levels,” said Chief Executive Officer of Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland Julie M. Johnson. “If authorized by the Board of Control, this funding will empower Hunger Network to safely provide nutritious food to those in need, and to provide more equitable access to fresh, healthy food in communities that so desperately need it.”