CHICAGO, Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Southface announced a $615,000 grant to pilot the Nonprofit Energy and Water Efficiency (NEWE) Initiative at Feeding America food banks. Funded by The JPB Foundation, the NEWE Initiative will be piloted over three years, and will help to develop a sustainable energy and water efficiency program for nonprofit organizations that demonstrate the value of investing in energy, water and resource efficiency. The ultimate goal is to provide nonprofits a path to reduce annual utility costs so that those saved dollars may be redirected to their mission.
"More than 42 million people struggle with hunger in America, including 13 million children. We are thankful to Southface for its partnership, which provides long-term operations benefits for our food banks," said Nancy Curby, interim senior vice president of development at Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger relief organization. "Every dollar a food bank saves on utility costs becomes a dollar that helps to serve more families who face hunger." "Nonprofits are good targets for efficiency programs as they are under pressure to reduce expenses and often occupy inefficient buildings that needlessly waste energy, water and other resources," said Chandra Farley, NEWE Initiative program manager at Southface. "Through the NEWE Initiative, Feeding America food banks, Boys & Girls Clubs and other national nonprofits will be able to free both revenue and time resources and redirect them back to their core mission." Currently, three food banks are participating in the first year of the Feeding America pilot - West Alabama Food Bank (Tuscaloosa), East Texas Food Bank (Tyler) and St. Louis Area Foodbank. Projected annual savings total $29,000. The West Alabama Food Bank realized more than 11 percent in energy savings after just five months, while significantly improving lighting quality. More food banks will be invited to participate and build on these savings in early 2017. The Feeding America network of 200 food banks, which serve 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, responds to the hunger crisis in America by providing food to people in need. It provides more food to children, families and seniors than any other charitable organization: more than 4 billion meals in 2016.