Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank picks Germanna’s Bear Necessities for Healthy Choices grant

by | Feb 19, 2024 | Germanna, Non-Profits, Ted Schubel

Dan Maher, president and CEO of the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank, presented Dr. Frank Cirioni, Germanna’s Dean of Student Development, with a check for $8571.43 toward increasing healthy options in the GCC food pantry, Bear Necessities.
“We really admire that you have the sensitivity often overlooked by others, [understanding] that students have real needs,” Maher told Cirioni at the ceremony at Germanna’s Bear Necessities pantry at the Fredericksburg Campus in Spotsylvania that serves students experiencing food insecurity..
Thanking Maher, Cirioni said “The [Fredericksburg] Food Bank is a place where I see the loving hearts and the kindness and the graciousness of our community.”
The check was the first Maher distributed as part pf a Federation of Virginia Food Banks Healthy Pantry Initiative Grant Pilot program.
Maher said it was the beginning of a “slow rollout” with the other early recipient the pantry at New Vision Ministry at Cosner’s Corner. He said Germanna and New Vision were chosen due to their enthusiasm for the project and “their readiness to take on an expanded operation.” He said pantries often end up having to purchase healthier options such as fresh fruits and vegetables. because most donations of food are canned goods and other processed foods.
Jane Teresi, who runs Germanna’s pantry program, called the Healthy Pantry Initiative “a movement guiding all interested pantries to implement more health-focused and neighbor-centered practices.”
Bear Necessities is a Germanna Cares initiative, primarily funded by the Germanna Educational Foundation, that is available at three GCC locations–the Fredericksburg Area Campus, the Locust Grove Campus in Orange and the Barbara J. Fried Center in Stafford, providing students with access to food, toiletries, and other necessities.
The Fredericksburg Area Campus Bear Necessities location was recently expanded to a larger and more accessible space in the Dickinson Building and there was also a ribbon-cutting at Tuesday’s check presentation ceremony.
The Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank provides support to all of the Bear Necessities locations, but the Healthy Pantry Initiative .is limited to the Fredericksburg Campus for now. “In future, we hope to be able to expand HPI to the other GCC Bear Necessities locations,” Teresi said.

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