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$110,000 Awarded to 3 Covington Agencies Helping with Food Distribution

The City of Covington awarded more than $110,000 to three agencies helping with emergency food distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Joe Meyer signed an emergency executive order allocating:

  • $60,600 to Be Concerned: The People’s Pantry.
  • $40,000 to the Parish Kitchen, a program run by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Covington.
  • $10,000 to Brighton Center Inc.

The money comes from the city’s recent receipt of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act money, sent as a supplemental allocation to the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

Last month, the city asked for proposals from agencies and organizations that primarily help the needy with food.

“It’s critical during this pandemic that the City does what it can to meet the basic needs of its residents – and there’s no more basic need than food and personal care,” Meyer said after signing the order.

Be Concerned, the area’s largest choice food pantry, will use funding to create what it’s calling COVID Boxes, containing hard-to-find cleaning and personal products that keep people safe, including things like antibacterial wipes, spray disinfectant, hand sanitizer and soap, and toilet paper.

The agency said the boxes will not only meet a pressing need for Covington residents but also keep families from diverting their limited food budgets toward cleaning and safety supplies, which have become very expensive. Some families are having to choose between the two, agency officials said.

The Parish Kitchen, which for years has served warm lunches on a walk-in basis, proposed to use funding to increase its ability to offer meals on a carryout basis so as to protect staff, volunteers, and guests. The agency has experienced a substantial increase in costs because of increased numbers of clients, the higher cost of offering meals to-go, and increased costs of staffing during the pandemic.

And Brighton Center, a multi-need agency, proposed to use funding to increase both its emergency food assistance and home delivery food programs. In fiscal year 2020, the agency provided more than 370 families with emergency food. During the pandemic, Brighton Center added USDA food to its distribution, enabling it to give families a 10- to 14-day supply of food.

All three agencies reported a huge increase in need since the pandemic hit in March.

City of Covington Federal Grants Manager Jeremy Wallace said the city will act quickly to sign agreements with the agencies in order to get the money in their hands as fast as possible.

“We’re anxious to fulfill all the federal requirements to get this money working for the residents of Covington,” he said. “We appreciate the dedication of BeCon, the Parish Kitchen, and Brighton Center and all they do for our residents, and we’re thrilled that we can partner with them.”

-Staff report

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