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Work still being done before El Paso food bank community kitchen can open

KFOX El Paso logo KFOX El Paso 7/21/2021 Holly Bock
© Provided by KFOX El Paso

The El Pasoans fighting Hunger Food Bank is still waiting to receive $1.5 million to build a community kitchen that was awarded last year.

There is still no plan for when the community kitchen will be built but the city of El Paso said they have not yet executed the agreement for this kitchen.

Reporter Holly Bock asked the city’s chief resilience officer Nicole Ferrini this question: Is there an estimated time or timeline you can detail out when you’d expect some of this money to start getting to the food bank so they can get working on the kitchen?

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“I would decline to comment on the specific timeline but what I can tell you that needs to be clear is even when that contract is executed the funds come on a reimbursement basis so food bank can start their work anytime and then they submit those costs to us on back,” Ferrini said.

The food bank officials said they are now responsible to keep track of every person they have helped during the pandemic. That means over 190,000 forms were transferred off of paper into a computer.

In an email from May, the food bank director said completing that work is not humanely possible.

Ferrini said as of today that paperwork is still being worked on.

“Do you think since that is a lengthy process that it is fair this could take a bit of time?” Holly Bock asked.

“I think with the tremendous amount of support the city has placed in our partnership toward the food bank I think we are looking to resolve this issue in as short as possible,” Ferrini said.

Ferrini said some of the previous challenges they have had revolved around delivery reimbursement materials and they are still trying to work out some of those problems from their previous contract before moving onto this new contract.

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