Second Harvest Food Bank — the Manteca-based non-profit that serves as the distribution center for more than a 100 food closets in a seven-county region to provide staples to help 350,000 people each year struggling to keep food on the table — is expanding.
The food bank is now remodeling an existing warehouse they purchased immediately west of their longtime location on Industrial Park Drive. It will allow the agency to double its storage space that is considered essential for Second Harvest Food Bank to stay up with demand.
Before the building became available, the non-profit was looking at possibly locating to another city as they had been coming up empty handed in a search for available space in Manteca.
The Second Harvest board directed recently retired CEO Mike Mallory to start looking for a larger space three years ago.
Newly appointed CEO Paul Rodrigues is now following through as remodeling is underway to nearly double its capacity.
Several potential sites were turned down by Mallory for a number of reasons including the lack of the necessary loading docks for big rigs to use in delivering food stuffs, frozen and boxed as well as fresh vegetables. A 50-foot by 48-foot cold box is being installed adjacent to a 1,000 square foot freezer at the rear of the building in a central location. It has three loading docks. The food bank’s current building — that will still be utilized — ho loading dock. As result, pallets of foodstuffs have to be taken from the back of 50-foot trailers using forklifts.
The older building also has a freezer and cold box but they are much smaller in capacity.
The 2,500-square foot cold box will hold vegetables, eggs, dairy products and juices while the freezer will be packed with meats, pizzas and protein products. Due to the racks being built in the cold box the food bank will be able to store more healthy foods, Rodrigues said.
Both buildings will be used in concert to provide 36,000 square feet of warehouse space. Completion is expected by late fall. The newly acquired building is located on a two-acre lot in the middle of the Industrial Park and is 160 by 120 feet in total size. The building was formerly occupied by the Gardner Denver Compressor Company.
“With the larger facility, we will be able to accept more donations and reach more needy people,” Rodrigues said.
Second Harvest Food Bank has a staff of some 20 people in the front office and in the present warehouse facility. There are no plans to hire additional staff, Rodrigues said.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email email@example.com.