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Food Bank opens new $34M Milford site

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The Food Bank of Delaware opened the new 70,000 square feet facility in Milford on Monday. | PHOTO COURTESY OF FOOD BANK OF DELAWARE

MILFORD – The Food Bank of Delaware cut the ribbon on its new $34 million facility in Milford on Monday.

“This facility represents more than just a building. It embodies our collective commitment of service to others with respect and dignity. This building symbolizes hope for so many. The project has been years in the making, and there are so many who united with us to make this vision a reality. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all who made today possible,” Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Cathy Kanefsky said in a press release.

The Food Bank held the grand opening on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service with 400 guests packing meal bags for the Backpack Program, a weekend meal program for children. 

Perdue Chicken commemorated the event by donating 83,000 pounds of chicken. 

The Delaware Veterans Boulevard facility was initially designed to be 67,000-square-foot and anticipated to open in the fall of 2023. The completed facility is 70,000 square feet and faced supply chain delays to push its opening into 2024.

The new facility, designed and built by the Becker Morgan Group, a Maryland-based architecture and engineering firm, will replace the current 16,000-square-foot facility on Mattlind Way, located less than a mile away.

“Collaboration with neighboring non-profits and the Delaware Veterans Home strengthened the site design and inspired a memorial garden and pavilion. It was an honor to develop spaces in support of the Food Bank’s mission, knowing the positive impact the new Milford campus will have on countless lives and the community for years to come,” Principal-In-Charge and Vice President Brad A. Hastings said.  

The decision to build this new facility was prompted by the Food Bank’s determination in 2020 that expansion was crucial to sustain food contributions and community development operations. 

The facility will expand cold storage, refrigeration, and freezer capacity by 114%, allowing for the storage and distribution of over 3.7 million additional pounds of fresh foods, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and meats. The dry storage space will accommodate an extra 6 million pounds of non-perishable food. 

The Milford facility will house the Healthy Pantry Center, a volunteer services room, training programs, an on-site cafe, and a 3.5-acre garden to grow fresh foods. 

“This much-needed new Food Bank facility in Milford was made possible by the hard-working staff, volunteers, and generous supporters of the Food Bank of Delaware. I’m proud to work with my fellow Congressional delegation members to deliver $7 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to help this project become a reality,” U.S. Sen. Tom Carper said. “I had a chance to walk through the construction of this site several months ago and was impressed with the planning that went into every corner of this facility to ensure we are meeting the needs of Kent and Sussex families – from supplying food to providing job training.”

 

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