AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the High Plains Food Bank announced Friday that the entity will receive $2.28 million through the state’s Food Bank Capacity Building grant program.

According to a news release, the grant program is funded through state funds from Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery fund established through funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The aim of this program is to increase food bank infrastructure throughout the state, helping enhance the ability of food banks to respond to natural disasters, public health emergencies, and other future crises.

Executive Director of the High Plains Food Bank, Zack Wilson said this money will go to make improvements.

“This funding will help us renovate the building that we own here and allow us more expansion for administrative space for our staff that has been growing since really the pandemic hit, due to the growth and the need that we have had in our area. We are also going to spend the funding on additional trucks. And also look into our backup plans when it comes to backup power here at the food bank, we are going to look into a generator,” said Wilson.

“Texas food banks are an integral part of the response during times of disaster, especially these last two years,” Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said in the release. “Multiple crises continue to strain the ability of food banks to meet increased demand, particularly in rural and other underserved communities. This investment in our food bank infrastructure and distribution networks will ensure our ability to continue responding to the needs of Texans.”

According to Wilson, the funds have to be spent by November of next year.

“We don’t anticipate at all the timeline being an issue for the funds being spent because they are already going to work as we speak,” added Wilson.

Wilson said many of the improvements they are looking at have been needed for years.

“For this funding that came in, having the ability to make these decades made improvements to where we are is going to be a huge boost in our efficiency and our costs will go down, and more specifically we will be able to help more folks,” said Wilson.

The High Plains Food Bank is celebrating 40 years of operations this year.