Food Bank Seeks Donations To Expand
By Addison Speck, Reporter
WATERLOO, Iowa - The Northeast Iowa Food Bank is a non-profit expanding to serve more people in need-- but they need some help too. The food bank in Waterloo is working to raise $700,000 to help complete their new warehouse. That warehouse will provide more space to store, cook, and serve food to about 40,000 people.
Their current location is on 11th St. in Waterloo. The new location will be about a block over on Lafayette St. Leaders said on Wednesday, the difference between the two buildings will be night and day.
Over the last few years, the Northeast Iowa Food Bank has watched their demand grow and their storage space dwindle. "This past July we had 100 more households than July of 2011," said Mike Lind, the Director of External Relations. The food bank made the decision to build a new home and construction is underway.
But even after raising $5.5 million, there's still $700,000 left to go. "Just being able to fully fund the project without any debt so we don't have to go out and barrow money and we have those funds so that donations in the future are going straight toward feeding people all throughout Northeast Iowa," said Lind.
The new building is about halfway complete and leaders expect to move this coming spring. It's a much bigger building which will give the food bank more space to stack and house larger coolers and freezers. Last year, the food bank had to turn away a half a million pounds of food because they didn't have enough room. "If a semi shows up and has a whole truckload to donate and it can't be accepted, that's not good when people are in need," said Reggie Schmitt, a Volunteer.
The Northeast Iowa Food Bank distributed 5.3 million pounds of food last year to about 200 non-profits across 16 Iowa counties. "We're seeing more and more clients, or at least sustaining that high level of service," said Lind. The new building will allow them to better serve those in need by having more food available, having a kitchen to cook food in their building for after school programs, and having more space for volunteers to work in.
If you would like more information on how you can donate, you can go here: http://www.northeastiowafoodbank.org/Donate.aspx
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