ELKHART — Church Community Services received a grant for a generator that would guarantee continuous power to the agency's food refrigerator in case of a power outage.
The CCS received a $32,421 grant from the American Electric Power Foundation on Thursday, March 6, according to a statement issued Tuesday.
The grant will be used to purchase a generator and cover its installation in the building housing the Food Bank of Elkhart County and the CCS food pantry.
The CCS programs — the food pantry, Food Bank of Elkhart County and Seed to Feed — rely on the agency's walk-in freezer and a walk-in cooler to store perishable food, which is distributed to people in Elkhart County struggling to afford food.
According to the CCS statement, the organization usually can receive up to 8 tons of perishable food in one week. In 2013, Seed to Feed brought in donations of vegetables, fruit, meat and eggs from local farmers totaling nearly 150,000 pounds.
The perishable foods received require refrigeration until they are distributed to the more than 35 food pantries and hot meal sites in Elkhart County.
During the announcement, Rod Roberson, CCS executive director, said CCS had lost power before; had the power been out for longer in each case, the food losses would be devastating, he said.
“This generator is a tremendous comfort to our food supply," Roberson said. "We are grateful to the AEP Foundation for their foresight and generosity. We appreciate the partnership."