FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — Food spoilage has been an issue for a Frederick community garden network, but a recent grant is helping to cool down the issue.

The Frederick Food Security Network produced about 1,500 pounds of produce last year for local households and community agencies from two gardens, but some of it spoiled in the cooler used for storage before pick-up.

The Rotary Club of Carroll Creek gave a thousand dollar grant for the network to build a new cold storage facility on the Hood College Campus, where the network is based.

“We were able to insulate the walls of the room and install a window air conditioning unit and a cool bot. [We] put up some shelving so now all of the produce in between harvest and distribution gets stored in there so that it’s less spoilage, and just in better condition for people to receive,” said Connie Ray with the Frederick Food Security Network.

April Bouton, a coordinator for one of the gardens, estimated that about 20-percent of produce was lost due to inadequate storage.

This year, the Frederick Food Security Network is operating four gardens with a goal of harvesting more than 2,500 pounds of produce for 500 local households.