Kansas Food Bank expansion will provide 1 million more meals to hungry people

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Volunteers will serve 1 million more meals a year across the state after a new Wichita warehouse is built, Kansas Food Bank officials said.

The food bank is using more than $5 million raised in a capital campaign to expand its warehouse with a 21,000-square-foot addition, Kansas Food Bank community relations manager Debi Kreutzman said in a news release. The expansion will include a new volunteer center, more warehouse space and more freezer and cooler space.

Construction is expected to begin later this year and be completed in May.

The food bank will increase its annual distribution by about 1 million meals after the expansion is complete, from 12.3 million meals to more than 13.3 million, the release said. Fresh produce distribution is expected to double. More than 700 hunger-relief partners distribute meals to more than 215,000 people in 85 counties.

“With 1 in 7 people in our community in need of food assistance and an increasing number of Kansans who are living with health-related diet restrictions, the Kansas Food Bank realized that the time to act is now,” Kansas Food Bank CEO Brian Walker said in the release. “There is a growing need across our service area, especially in the most rural parts of our community, to provide access to healthy food options. This campaign is in response to the need for additional volunteer space to help fulfill of our mission to provide hunger relief wherever and whenever possible.”

The volunteer center will be named the Sunderland Foundation Volunteer Center in recognition of the Overland Park-based foundation, which provided the largest of 42 gifts, the release said.