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The Food Depot staff and volunteers are eager to have more space for their work to end hunger! We started construction on an expansion of our facility in March. We couldn’t be happier! As many of you know, we moved into a new 16,000 square foot building in January 2013. This facility has enabled staff and volunteers to dramatically increase food distribution from 3.6 million pounds in our former facility to 6.1 million pounds of food in 2016 – enough food for more than 5 million meals! At the time of construction on our current facility, we cut square footage on the building to complete the project under budget. We are now completing the building!
Since moving in, we have worked to develop the capacity of our partner agencies…agencies such as food pantries, soup kitchens, youth programs, shelters and senior centers…all who receive food from the food bank for their meal programs. While our capacity had dramatically expanded, that of our partners had stayed the same, restricting their ability to increase food distribution. To build their capacity, we continue to place much needed equipment in our partner agencies and to provide community meetings and trainings.
We have increased our distribution of food directly to people in need through expansion of the Mobile Food Pantry program, and have started new children’s programs such as the Lunch Box Express and the Square Meals program. The addition of Food 4 Pets allows us to provide low-income people with food for their four-legged family members. And, the addition of the Diaper Depot program eliminates one barrier for family members to return to work or school by offering disposable diapers for their children’s day care stays.
Now, The Food Depot is again planning for future growth. The expansion will increase square footage by 8,500, and allow for a larger volunteer work room, increased dry storage, and the addition of a Food 4 Pets prep room. Volunteers and staff anticipate moving into the new space on October 1!
We know that none of this growth would be possible without the outstanding generosity of the northern New Mexico community. Thank you! Have a wonderful summer!
Sherry F. Hooper