Knox County Commission Wants Food Bank Funded 2009: J Miles

Knox County Commission wants food bank funded

MILES CARY Elaine Streno, executive director of the Second Harvest food bank, hopes the agency can be included in the county budget. The food bank was left out of the mayors budget proposal because no one was sent to a meeting for nonprofits seeking county funds. Most Knox County commissioners want to fund Second Harvest Food Bank, which provides food to the needy and is seeing greater demand than ever with the struggling economy. No funding is included in Mayor Mike Ragsdale’s fiscal 2010 budget proposal because the food bank didn’t send anyone to a mandatory county meeting for nonprofits seeking county money. ‘It was an error,’ said Elaine Streno, executive director of the group. ‘We screwed up. It was a very difficult pill to swallow.’ Streno said Second Harvest has a $3.2 million budget, including an $81,667 county grant, and the fiscal 2010 budget is $3.4 million. The organization has budgeted $55,000 a month for food purchases and the food for children program but has been spending $100,000 on food, she said. ‘It’s been a devastatingly difficult time
because of the increase in food going up 42 percent,’ Streno said. ‘We’re trying to be fiscally responsible. With the recent shutdowns of these companies, the whole food system is in a spiral.’

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