The Capital Area Food Bank has received $1 million from William Conway, co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, to help the organization eliminate its fee for fresh produce, the Washington Post reports.
The foodbank, which distributed a record thirty million pounds of food during the recently completed fiscal year — including thirteen million pounds of fresh produce — is the primary food source for more than seven hundred nonprofit organizations in the region. This year, it has seen its cost of acquiring fresh produce increase 31 percent, even as two-thirds of its clients prepared to expand their fresh produce offerings. As a result, at the beginning of August it started charging members ten cents a pound for fruits and vegetables.
The gift will be used to reimburse clients for fees charged to date and enable the organization to find a long-term solution, which may include new sources of funding and food.
"We were faced with so many daunting circumstances. It's like a heavy rock being lifted off," said the foodbank's president, Lynn Brantley. "The low-income community is so lacking in healthful, good, fresh, affordable produce."