Construction is in the final stages at the North Texas Food Bank's new 220,000-square-foot warehouse in Plano. Later this summer, the nonprofit plans to move its food distribution and volunteer operations from its S. Cockrell Hill Road location in Dallas to a warehouse near Coit Road and President George Bush Turnpike in Plano.
North Texas Food Bank CEO Trisha Cunningham said the move will help streamline operations in a warehouse built specifically for food distribution. It is triple the size of the current facility and more central to the entire 13-county region the food bank serves, Cunningham said.
"If you look at our 13-county service area, it goes all the way up to Oklahoma, all the way down towards Ellis County, it goes out east out towards Kaufman," Cunningham said. "That is actually the central location to our service area."
The move will also establish a foothold in Collin County, increasing access to the population and business growth.
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"We see many of our corporations that have moved up into the Collin County area, they want to do something significant to be able to give back," Cunningham said.
The first volunteer shifts in the new facility are scheduled for early September. In the meantime, volunteers are stockpiling food kits to make sure the transition goes smoothly.
"We just came here to give back to the community, take some time before the holiday to give back and just show love to the community," said volunteer Jordan Campbell.
Campbell volunteered with a group of coworkers from Texas Instruments on Tuesday morning. The volunteers sorted and packed food kits for seniors, making extra kits that can be distributed during the move to ensure food service isn't interrupted.
"That way no senior has to go hungry even while we're trying to transition to our new facility," Cunningham said.
The current facility will not close, according to the North Texas Food Bank. The plan is for a partner agency to take over the space and open a food pantry for food distribution in South Dallas.
"Basically have a hub, almost like a mini-food bank, where we will be able to deliver food to them and then they will be able to get it out to all the partner agencies in this area," Cunningham said. "It actually will give them additional capacity to serve more partner agencies and more hungry people than we’re able to serve today."
A grand opening celebration for the new facility is scheduled for September 16th. Tickets are free and available here.
The North Texas Food Bank is encouraging volunteers to sign up for shifts in the new facility this fall. Demand is high for Monday through Friday shifts during the school year.