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NL Food Bank project pushed back

The Northern Lehigh Food Bank will still be expanded, but not until later than anticipated.

A project that would have doubled the size of the facility has been delayed now that Washington Township has received an additional $40,000 Community Development Block Grant.As a result, the township's board of supervisors earlier this month agreed to reject bids that were submitted to the township last month for the project."More money became available with the grant," township engineer Roy Stewart said. "Because of the additional grant money, the project is being rebid to do the entire building."Last month, supervisors received bids from four companies to do the project, with Rex Homes of Slatington the apparent low bidder at $39,995.That bid was $27,749 less than the $67,744 bid from A.P. Houser of Emmaus.However, supervisors Chairman Abe Ahner said no contract would be awarded until the bids would be reviewed by Lehigh County.Since then, Stewart said the township has received another $40,000, to go along with another $40,000 it previously received in CDBG funds administered by the county.Now, the earliest the township can rebid the project is next month. A bid award likely wouldn't be made until November at the earliest.Ahner previously said the building would be increased by another 1,200-1,400 square feet. Installed would be a receiving door for delivery, a concrete floor, wall insulation, a heating system with a heat pump, and a new electrical panel inside the building, which would also be wired for a cooler and a freezer.Since the early-1990s, the food bank has operated from out of the former township municipal building, located at 7884 Center St., Emerald, as part of a 10-year lease agreement with the townshipThe food bank is under the sponsorship of the Northern Lehigh Pastoral Association, which is composed of 14 churches that help support the food bank, as well as other outside churches.The food bank distributes baskets to needy families in Northern Lehigh and surrounding communities on the first, second and third Thursday of each month, as well as the last Saturday of each month from 9:30 a.m. to noon.