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Second Harvest breaks ground for new distribution center

Caitlin Nearhood • May 17, 2014 at 6:20 PM

Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio, a food pantry distributer in Lorain, held its ground-breaking ceremony Friday for its new distribution center at its current location at 7445 Deer Trail Lane. The new center will be located just around the corner on Baumhart Road 1.5 miles away.

Due to the swampy conditions at the future location, the event was held at its current distribution center. The food pantry plans to officially break ground around June 1 in hopes to move in either January or February 2015.

About five years ago, Second Harvest outgrew its current center and will soon “have access to more farmers and food” with its new 40,000 square feet facility.

 “With the old distribution center, we were limited,” said Susan Bartosch, external affairs manager for Second Harvest. “We will be able to accept more opportunities and serve an additional two million meals with the new center.”

According to a press release, the new distribution center will include “5,800 square feet of refrigeration space, an expanded repack area for large volunteer projects, increased dock space to accommodate large incoming shipments, and community meeting space.”

Since being established in 1982, Second Harvest has provided bulk supplies of food to local pantries in north-central Ohio, specifically Crawford, Erie, Huron and Lorain counties. It acts as the “middle man” between large food corporations and small non-profit groups.

“We do everything behind the scenes to make it happen for them,” Bartosch said.

Its mobile pantries, partnerships with more than 100 local charities, and its school BackPack program for children contributed to Second Harvest’s distribution of three times the food and groceries every year in the past ten years.  

And the efforts couldn’t be done without the love and care from its 1,700 yearly volunteers from companies and individuals from surrounding communities.

Right now, Second Harvest serves 5 meals for every $1 donated to its organization.

“We couldn’t do it without volunteers,” Bartosch said. “Some people will do anything [to help].”

Second Harvest gains donations from giant companies like Kroger or Walmart in addition to farmers and citizens from surrounding communities. After volunteers daily sort and inspect the food, the donations are delivered to local food pantries at no charge.

The food bank is determined to provide quality fresh or frozen foods as more nutritious and healthy options.

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Senator Sherrod Brown spoke at the ceremony Friday also. 

By the numbers

·32: Years serving Crawford, Erie, Huron, and Lorain counties

·107: Food pantries supported combined from all four counties

·1,700: Annual volunteers

·80,000: Ohioans served each year

·7.2 million: pounds of food dispersed last year

·69 million: meals served since 1982

·88 million: pounds of food dispersed since 1982

Want to help?

Interested individuals can call Susan Bartosch at 440-960-2265 to donate food or funds or volunteer. 

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