The City Council approved the purchase of a 40,000-square-foot facility for the relocation of the Food Bank of East Alabama on Tuesday.
The food bank's new location will be at 355 Industry Drive, adjacent to its current location at 375 Industry Drive.
The food bank's Executive Director Martha Henk said now is the perfect time to expand and move into a new facility.
"We started to realize that this building doesn't allow for the growth we're experiencing, so that's when we started seeing what other options there might be," Henk said.
The growth has been significant since starting the non-profit in 2002. Henk said that in 2002, the food bank distributed 2.6 million pounds of food and that last year it was 4.8 million.
The organization is now serving more food insecure individuals in East Alabama than ever. In 2002, the USDA released a report stating 1 in 11 residents in Alabama were food insecure. Last year, the USDA reported that the food insecure rate worsened to 1 in 5.
Henk said she's hopeful the new facility will help further alleviate the food insecurity in the area.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
"The old building is 20,000 square-feet; this new one is 40,000 square-feet. Right off the bat, it doubles our capacity of taking in food and storing food," Henk said.
For Henk, more space also means more productivity.
"We can have a much larger volunteer work area," Henk said. "It's going to go from 2,000 square-feet to 12,000 square-feet."
In 2002, Henk said they had 8,100 volunteers before growing to 26,300 last year.
"We're going to be able to bring in more products, bring in more volunteers and ultimately that's going to result in more food going out," Henk said. "It's a very exciting time."
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman