FLINT TWP. — After a public hearing, the township board approved allocation of 2016-18 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for Public Service Projects to the Senior Center Food Pantry, 2071 S. Graham Road.
Flint Township expects to receive about $38,908, to be distributed in three equal portions during the three-year cycle, according to township clerk Kim Courts.
The funds will be used by the senior center for food, supplies and paper and household products that are distributed for free to needy senior citizens.
Five percent of CDBG funds received by the township are earmarked for public service projects, said township supervisor Karyn Miller.
“This is one way of funding the senior center,” she said, adding that the center also receives funding support from the countywide Senior Millage.
Courts added that though the township is earmarking its Public Service Projects funds to the senior center, other eligible items in this category include job training, home buying assistance programs, child care services, neighborhood organization assistance, Fair Housing activities, public safety, homeless services, recreation and drug abuse counseling.
The mandatory public hearing was held to give residents an opportunity to have a say about community development needs and to propose projects. No one spoke during the public hearing.
During regular board comment, Jim McClung, who is a member of the senior center board of trustees, said the senior center has about 35 to 40 people who depend on the food pantry when they run short of supplies each month. He is one of the people in charge of purchasing supplies.
“To get more bang for our buck, we have switched suppliers,’’ he said. Supplies are now purchased at the Aldi’s food store on Corunna Road.
“They meet us at the door with a forklift truck and help us load it,’’ he said.
McClung estimated they spend $1200 to $1,400 per month on the food supplies. Keeping the pantry stocked requires a lot of volunteer work.
“It definitely makes some people happy and puts some food in their bellies,’’ he said.
The township board unanimously approved the three-year allocation of CDBG funds to the food pantry.