2009-02-12 / Local & State

Food Basket Official Airs Financial Woes

County holds online auction
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Armed with concerns about the economy and the possibility of being denied grant monies, a member of the Fulton County Food Basket's board of directors appeared before the Fulton County commissioners this week to learn what financial steps could be taken to counter expected boosts in clientele.

Harry Lee Garland questioned commissioners Bonnie Mellott Keefer, Daniel Swain Jr. and David Hoover II as to what can be done down the road in the event Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) funding is unavailable to assist the Food Basket with its employee expenses. Available through the Fulton / Huntingdon / Bedford Center for Community Action, the last allotment in CSBG funding to the Food Basket tallied $7,600.

Garland, who was instructed to speak with Center for Community Action director Ann Foor regarding help with funding, stated he expects an increase in clients at the Food Basket given the current state of the economy. During the month of January, the Food Basket served 108 households and 370 individuals.

"We expect a big jump in the summer," said Garland. "... I hope I'm pushing the panic button and that this doesn't happen."

Garland and the commissioners discussed other outreach and food programs available to area residents in need such as Angel Food Ministries and free soup and meal nights offered by McConnellsburgbased churches.

"I think we're going to start seeing people at the Food Basket that we've never seen before," Garland added. In other Food Basket-related issues, the commissioners spoke with Garland about funding to make the building and parking area handicapped accessible as well as HVAC upgrades.

With their online county auction already up and running at http://auction.co.fulton.pa.us, the commissioners questioned solicitor Stanley Kerlin further on the legality of selling "excess, used and obsolete" county property on eBay and the time frames involved for selling those items.

Alan Smith, executive director of the Area Agency on Aging, addressed the future relocation of his organization's county transportation office from the basement of the Fulton County Food Basket. Smith added funding may be available through the Recovery Act to offset costs of the office relocation, the CART program and purchasing GPS units.

The commissioners sat down with McConnellsburg resident Robert Jones, who discussed Veterans Affairs issues and procedures for hiring new employees.

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