LOVELAND — The Food Bank for Larimer County has moved into a new headquarters building that will serve as the agency’s warehouse, kitchen and administrative offices.
The new facility is at 5760 Wright Drive near the Northern Colorado Regional Airport. The building previously housed High Country Beverage.
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The Food Bank will host a donor event from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, at the facility.
The purchase of the new building and development of it are part of a major capital campaign that will total about $9 million when complete. Of that, more than $5 million was used to purchase the building and land around it, according to Paul Donnelly, communications manager for the agency. Donnelly said 87 percent of the project has been covered by large donations from foundations and individuals.
With the addition of the new facility, the Food Bank has three fixed facilities and multiple mobile distribution sites. Distribution points at the previous Food Bank headquarters at 1301 Blue Spruce Drive in Fort Collins and 2600 N. Lincoln Ave. in Loveland remain as the primary Food Share sites where people needing food can come to shop up to twice per week. Mobile food pantries are also offered in multiple locations such as Grace Place church in Berthoud and Colorado State University for students and staff of the university, Donnelly said.
The expanded headquarters facility also houses an expanded kitchen, in which staff and volunteers prepare meals for the Senior Nutrition program and the Child Nutrition program, which prepares about 175,000 meals a year for populations in need. Also at the new facility will be the primary location for the Food Link program, which helps to supply churches and other food-distribution agencies with low cost or free food.
The Wright Drive site contains two new food coolers — one a low-temperature facility set at minus 4 degrees and the other for produce set similar to a household refrigerator.
Volunteers, who worked about 39,000 hours last year, also have more space at the new facility — about 420 percent more space to take their breaks and stash their personal belongings while working.
The Food Bank of Larimer County accepts food donations from multiple sources, such as the recent U.S. Postal Service campaign, but also cash donations that can be used by the agency more effectively than individuals can buy food. For example, as a Feeding America member, the Food Bank can bid pennies on the dollar for food that has been contributed to the national charity.
Donnelly said that the Food Bank serves about 15,000 people per month through the Food Share program, some multiple times a month. He said the agency has an unduplicated count of about 37,500 people served each year. Feeding America estimates that Larimer County has about 40,000 “food insecure” residents.