Xenia food pantry among others to receive state money for renovations

Published: Sunday, May 19, 2019 @ 9:45 AM


            Boy Scout Jakob Spencer, 13, left, restocks a cooler with donated milk at the Xenia Area FISH Food Pantry. The pantry is seeking EDGE grant money from Greene County and other partners to relocate to a larger county-owned building in Xenia that would nearly triple the amount of space for the operation. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
            Ty Greenlees
Boy Scout Jakob Spencer, 13, left, restocks a cooler with donated milk at the Xenia Area FISH Food Pantry. The pantry is seeking EDGE grant money from Greene County and other partners to relocate to a larger county-owned building in Xenia that would nearly triple the amount of space for the operation. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Ty Greenlees)

Four projects in Greene County are expected to receive Community Development Block Grant funds, including the Xenia Area FISH Food Pantry, which is relocating to the former home of the Greene County Parks & Trails.

The county was granted $236,000 from the state program, which will be used to support projects by the cities of Beavercreek and Bellbrook, the village of Cedarville and the Xenia food pantry, currently located at 531 Ledbetter Road. The total of all requests was more than $273,000, according to Greene County Department of Development records.

A plan by Home Inc. to build 12 low- to moderate-income homes in Yellow Springs was not selected among the five applications.

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Relocating the Xenia food pantry, which has been serving the hungry since 1976, would not be possible without the CDBG funds, according to Gail Matson, president of the board of directors.

“If we hadn’t got that, we couldn’t have moved forward,” Matson said. “We’ve put all our eggs in one basket. This will be the perfect location. All we need is the money to make it work.”

The food pantry must move out of their current location by May of next year to accommodate the board of elections, which will be using the space for storage of equipment and other items, county officials said.

Matson said people sometimes think the pantry sells seafood because of “Fish” in the pantry’s name, but it’s an acronym: Friendship in Service to Humanity.

The pantry served 24,500 people, representing 7,840 families, in 2018.

Twenty percent of the total funds will also be used to support Fair Housing and Administration, according to a release from the Greene County Department of Development.

CDBG funding is provided every two years, and the allotment increased for Greene County by $9,000 compared to 2017, said Kristie Tidd, GCDOD manager.

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The housing and urban development funds are distributed based on HUD thresh-holds for the entire county’s low- to moderate-income population, Tidd said.

The grants typically get distributed by Sept. 1 and the majority of the funded projects will start early next year, Tidd said.

A second public hearing is set for Thursday, when commissioners are expected to vote on the allocations, according to County Administrator Brandon Huddleson.

“Commissioners carefully considered the five requests before them and only had enough allocated funding from the state to accommodate four of the projects,” Huddleson said.

Greene County CDBG allocations (2019)

  • $32,000: City of Beavercreek — Lighting, sidewalk to connect new parking lot to senior center
  • $35,177: City of Bellbrook — ADA curb cuts
  • $52,695: Yellow Springs Home, Inc. — Pocket community infrastructure
  • $58,916.30: Village of Cedarville — Park equipment & installation
  • $95,160: Xenia Area Fish Food Pantry — New location renovations

Source: Greene County Department of Development