It is hard to believe that in 2005, in one of the most prosperous regions in the US, people suffer from hunger. But it is true. “There are over 633,000 people at risk of hunger in this community — 200,000 are children”, says Brian Smith of the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), “we serve over 275,000 local residents each year- distributing 20 million pounds of food through a network of 700 partner agencies.“ One
pound of food equals one meal.
With needs so great, the CAFB’s 47,000 square feet of space was not sufficient. “For the past several years, we have been searching for a suitable site for the relocation and expansion of our facility” says Smith. After searching throughout the City, they found an ideal property for sale at 4900 Puerto Rico Ave NE in the Brookland neighborhood – only a half mile from their current facility.
On July 18, the CAFB purchased the property on Puerto Rico Ave and plans to renovate the space to their unique specifications. LISC provided a $1.5 million loan to finance the acquisition and eventual renovation of the property.
As a result of the purchase, their space will more than double, from 47,000 to 135,000 square feet. This will enable them to receive and distribute far greater quantities of quality, nutritious food products and expand their program services to the community.
The Food Bank is currently using the new space for storage of dry goods and plans to begin renovations in early 2007.