Residents in east Erie now have easier access to food thanks to a partnership between the Mercy Center for Women and Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, the Mercy Center for Women held a grand opening of a satellite food bank at its Mercy Anchor Community Center at 1012 East 28th Street. The Mercy Center for Women executive director said the area has a 22% poverty rate and the satellite food bank will be instrumental in feeding families.

And the partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank is a good use of the newly renovated building, a renovation that’s intended to help the center serve the community and folks in need.

The executive director added that the food bank offers more than just non-perishables.

“It’s a healthy food bank. So right now, since we are still in with seasonal fruits and vegetables, we have apples and bananas and there are sweet potatoes and butternut squash. So just a variety of food. There’s cereal, there’s bread, there’s fresh produce. So, there’s something for everybody. There’s plenty, actually, for everybody. And we’re just happy to be here.” said Jennie Hagerty, Executive Director Mercy Center for Women

Hagerty said they plan to survey customers to figure out which food bank hours work best for shoppers going forward.