Food Bank of Alaska makes the move into new home
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - After three years of fundraising and planning, the Food Bank of Alaska is making a move this week into a new building. The new warehouse, located at 2192 Viking Dr., is in the same Ship Creek neighborhood as the old building on Spar Avenue but is much larger, according to CEO Jim Baldwin.
“Our old facility was 25,000 square feet and we were always on top of each other,” Baldwin said. “We had stuff double stacked, we couldn’t get to product, we had staff members sharing offices. ... It was just way too small.”
The new facility is about 80,000 square feet and features a huge walk-in freezer that Baldwin said will allow them to accept and process much more food. He said the food bank has been looking for more space for years, but the need became much more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The need skyrocketed from March (2020) all the way ‘till basically March of 2021, I mean that was the period,” said Baldwin. “And so we went from 7 and a half million to 11 million pounds (of food) during that first year.”
Since then, Baldwin said, the numbers have leveled off, but the need is still high. He said the layout of the building will allow them to be much more efficient in distributing food, including food to rural Alaska.
Another plus? Baldwin said the new building is completely paid for. He said the $11 million price tag it took to purchase, renovate and move in was funded almost exclusively by donations and contributions including a $1 million award by ConocoPhillips to kick off the campaign. Baldwin said the Municipality of Anchorage funded $500,000 of the cost.
“We have just been so blessed multiple times over, over the last three years, to get everything to the point we’re seeing today of the actual day of the move,” Baldwin said.
The food bank will be closed for normal business this week during the move, but is expected to reopen in their new location on Monday, Aug. 16.
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