EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Wednesday September 1 kicked off hunger action a month, a time to raise money and remind communities of the need for food in their neighborhoods. Eyewitness News is partnering with the the Tri-State Food Bank to fund food boxes for families.
“We’re going to take it from here and go even further,” said Tri-State Food Bank executive director Glenn Roberts.
Tucked back off Lynch Road in Evansville, the Tri-State Food Bank’s new home, 80 thousand square feet to store food serving 33 counties.
“It was built in 1973 originally as a Tupperware manufacturing facility,” Roberts. “I think that’s kind of cool because if you think about it it’s come full circle. Because tupperware is all about taking leftover food storing it properly and that’s what a food bank does.”
The new building officially opened last June, right in the middle of the pandemic.
“Before the pandemic we were distributing a little over 10 million pounds of food,” said Roberts. “Last year we distributed 17 million pounds of food.”
To meet the needs of the community, additional space was a must especially for storage.
“About 35,000 square feet just for dry goods,” said Roberts. “We get government commodities. We purchase food.”
A first for the food bank, a refrigerated area within the same facility storing goods at 50 degrees and below.
“When the refrigerated product comes in it comes in to a dedicated refrigerated dock goes into a cooler..goes into a freezer so we keep the cold chain unbroken,” said Roberts.
The building also boasts several dock doors for agencies pull up to receive food to take back to a pantry.
“Now we can keep things in its dedicated place, pull it, move it, very quickly and our inventory turns are much quicker,” said Roberts.
The volunteer center offers a chance for folks to log hours organizing the food as it arrives at the food bank.
Yearly, the food bank serves 100,000 people.
“We can end hunger with this space,” said Roberts.