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Greater Scranton YMCA finalist for $25K grant

Voting is now open. You can vote up to ten times a day every day from now until Friday, August 27.

DUNMORE, Pa. — Out of thousands of applicants, the Greater Scranton YMCA is now one of 200 finalists for State Farm's Neighborhood Assist $25,000 grant. Now the Y needs the community's support and votes to get the money. 

"This will be huge for the Y. If COVID has taught us anything, it's that food insecurity is real across the country and specifically in our area," said State Farm Agent Jen Ricci. Ricci is also on the Board at the YMCA.

RELATED: Greater Scranton YMCA competing for cash to improve its food services

The food insecurity in the area is why the Y in Dunmore decided to apply for the grant, to begin with. The Y launched its food program earlier this year, and construction on the building is expected to start next month to add a kitchen and lounge area. But right now, because of a lack of staff and funding, the Y's Food Program only serves children in the Early Learning Center.

"We know that's just a very small piece of the puzzle, we want to grow, so we'll grow the food program to serve more kids in need, more adults in need, families, older adults, just our community at large, but we can only do that with the support of our community," said Greater Scranton YMCA Mission Advancement and Marketing Director Meghan Carnevale.

The food is also transported from the Wilkes-Bare location as of right now because of the lack of space in the Dunmore location.

If the Y receives this grant money, it will be able to hire a full-time staff member dedicated strictly to the Food Program and its growth; that way, the Y will be able to provide even more meals for not only kids but adults too specifically veterans.

"It is what the Y is all about. I constantly say a strong Y equals a strong community. The stronger our Y is, the better," Ricci said. 

Voting is now open. The 40 organizations with the most votes will each receive the $25,000 grant. 

"We're really urging people to take the few seconds to do it. Share it with your friends, family, co-workers, and we're really hopeful we'll be one of those top 40,"

You can vote up to 10 times a day every day from now until next Friday, August 27.

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