Since implementing our Mercado during the height of the pandemic, we’ve been handing out food literally out in the open. We’ve tried to keep our volunteers, clients, and food shaded from the elements. Unfortunately, our solution of using popup tents has done little to keep the sun from beating down nor the wind from ripping fabric to shreds. But fret no more, as funds from a Texas ARPA Capacity Building Grant make it possible for us to shade our Mercado permanently. The days of standing in direct sunlight are behind us.
This permanent canopy is the most significant upgrade to hit our distribution. With temperatures regularly over 100 degrees through much of the summer, this will significantly improve the conditions in which we distribute our food. In addition, this enclosure will also cover our client registration hub as we register and welcome our clients.
The funding comes from the state’s ARPA Capacity Building Grant which aims to improve our infrastructure and increase our capacity to serve our community. The new canopy is just one of several projects using this funding. New computer servers and energy-efficient warehouse lighting use funds from this grant, but the canopy is truly the project everyone hoped for most.