First phase of Food Bank of the Albemarle facility expansion complete

Published 8:13 am Friday, February 5, 2021

Food Bank of the Albemarle has announced that construction is complete on Phase 1 of the food bank’s facility expansion project that brings substantial increases in refrigerated and freezer space. The addition is funded in part by a grant through Feeding America and will enable the food bank to provide more fresh vegetables, fruits and lean protein than ever before.

“Today, we are excited to announce that Phase 1 of the Food Bank’s expansion plan is complete, and adds an additional 80,000 cu. ft. of refrigeration and freezer storage space,” said Executive Director Liz Reasoner. “This expansion will enable the Food Bank to distribute more fresh nutritious produce than ever before, at a time when unemployment and hunger are rising.”

Over the past nine months, the Food Bank’s food distribution has increased dramatically.  Demand for food increased in key areas of the 15-county service area served by the Food Bank by 15% to 21%, driving up distribution by two million pounds over the same period in 2019.

Through a Feeding America grant award, the Food Bank received $635,000 last August to be used for capacity building for the Food Bank and their agency partners. Hunger-relief partners were awarded $272,768 for capacity building, including refrigeration equipment and transportation subsidies.

Food Bank of the Albemarle directed $302,500 of the grant award for the expansion project. The remaining funds were used to cover equipment rental and fuel temporary refrigeration for cold and dry storage.

The facility expansion was also funded in part by a $100,000 grant by The Cannon Charitable Foundation. The remaining funds to finalize the project were from CARES Funding the Food Bank received.

In early 2016, the Food Bank adopted Feeding America’s “Bold Goal” to provide more meals to those faced with hunger; thereby closing the meal gap by 2025. To meet this goal, total distribution must increase by 11% each year.  The new cooler and freezer will enable the Food Bank to source and distribute an additional 15 Million lbs. of fresh produce over the next five years.

“Each year, we have had to turn down donations of fresh produce because of a lack of adequate space and storage,” Reasoner said. “Thanks to our funders, the Food Bank is invested in this change today, and for the future capacity to feed our neighbors for years to come. Together we are ending hunger in northeastern North Carolina”.

For additional information on Food Bank of the Albemarle and the on-going facility expansion, go to www.afoodbank.org.

The Food Bank of the Albemarle is a regional clearinghouse for the collection and distribution of food and grocery items to 100 hunger-relief partners operating 145 unique programs. It serves Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties. For more information, call 252-335-4035.

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