Fresno County honored for Poverello House renovation

Fresno County receives 2024 Achievement Award from NACo for kitchen renovation at Poverello House

Mid Valley Times Staff
Published June 14, 2024  • 
9:30 am

FRESNO – The County of Fresno has been recognized with a 2024 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for its kitchen renovation at Poverello House. The award looks to honor innovative and effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.

In 2023, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $2.5 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to assist Poverello House in renovating and building a new kitchen that feeds individuals experiencing homelessness or food insecurity. According to Fresno County, this is the first no-cost restaurant for anyone in need in the state of California.

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated food insecurity in Fresno County, requiring Poverello House to increase its daily output by approximately 200-300 meals to continue helping individuals impacted by food insecurity, homelessness or rising food prices. The kitchen facility was 30-years old and in need of a renovation to continue providing over 1 million meals annually.

“This award from NACo rewards the vision of the Board of Supervisors to mitigate food insecurity,”  County Administrative Officer Paul Nerland said. “It recognizes the hard work from those in the CAO office to expedite this ARPA allocation and acknowledges the Special Accounting Team in the Auditor-Controller’s department for ensuring compliance with Treasury requirements.”

Each year, NACo’s Achievement Awards looks to recognize programming in 18 categories aligned with the services that counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, libraries, management, information technology, health, civic engagement and more. Launched in 1970, the program is designed to celebrate innovation in county government. Each nominated program is judged on its own merits and not against other applications.

“The Achievement Awards recognize excellence in county government and effective public service,” said NACo President Mary Jo McGuire. “This year’s winners have delivered results for our residents and demonstrated innovative efforts to strengthen our communities.”

The National Association of Counties aims to strengthen America’s counties, including nearly 40,000 county elected officials and 3.6 million county employees. Founded in 1935, NACo looks to unite county officials to advocate for county government priorities in federal policymaking, promote exemplary county policies and practices, nurture leadership skills, expand knowledge networks, optimize county and taxpayer resources and cost savings and enrich the public’s understanding of county government.

Mid Valley Times Staff