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Community Partnership takes county food reins

Nick Leturgey, project manager with Community Partnership renovates a bus that will be a mobile farmers market for the organization. Seb Foltz/Butler Eagle 05/17/22

Community Partnership Inc. soon will be responsible for implementing Butler County’s food program, taking over from the Alliance for Nonprofit Resources.

County commissioners on Wednesday assigned the county’s food program — which includes providing food for those in need via food cupboards, food banks and even delivery, among other duties — to Community Partnership beginning July 1.

Commissioners vice chairwoman Kim Geyer, who serves on Community Partnership’s board of directors, said the nonprofit’s current operations make it the proper avenue through which the county can administer the food program.

“That’s basically the mission and role of Community Partnership. Food plays a big part. Food distribution plays a big part,” Geyer said. “There’s 31 (food) pantries across the county that they coordinate.”

Additionally, Geyer said, the demand for food assistance programs has grown.

“For example, (St.) Vincent de Paul used to provide produce and food to Grapevine Center,” Geyer said. “Now, because the needs are so great, and they have their own needs, they’re going to relinquish that over to us, and we will become the new provider for the Grapevine Center.”

Community Partnership also has other times during which it distributes food to eligible individuals, including distributions on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

“We have farmers markets in the city. We have 53 families registered that we can take. You can register on-site if you walk up,” Geyer added. “We have a drive-through food distribution at Lernerville.”

The nonprofit is, in addition to food cupboards and stationary-site distributions, planning to start delivering food to those in need. Geyer said Community Partnership recently obtained a vehicle for mobile food delivery.

“As soon as we get it inspected, it’ll be on the road, and it’ll be taking produce to all different parts of the county,” Geyer said, “especially in the northern parts of the county that are very rural, where people can’t get to food pantries or don’t have a vehicle or don’t have the money to put gas in their car to drive to a food pantry.”

Community Partnership will pay Butler County $250 per month to lease a food warehouse at the Sunnyview Complex in Butler Township.

All motions relating to Community Partnership passed unanimously, including “yes” votes by Geyer.