JUNEAU, Alaska — Officials with the Southeast Alaska Food Bank say they can give more food to those in need thanks to a new 2,200-square-foot expansion.

Jim Wilcox is on the food bank’s board of directors and headed the warehouse expansion project. He said the Juneau facility has gone from only being able to store about a month’s worth of food to about six months of food, KTOO-FM reported (http://bit.ly/2dLK9BA).

Wilcox said the building expansion comes as the number of people seeking donations has increased by as much as 40 percent in the last four years.

The project, which took less than two months to complete, was a community effort, with several businesses contributing their services at no charge.

“Engineers, surveyors – they were all free. The people who drew the building and drew all the blueprints – they were free. The electricians, 99 percent of the work they did for free,” Wilcox said.

The food bank covered the rest of the costs, mostly through donations.

Darren Adams, the food bank’s manager, said the new addition will allow the organization to have more food in stock and to store food more easily.

“In years past whenever I’d get a huge food drive, or get a huge food donation, I’d have to make it all fit in here,” Adams said. The new space “will help us bring in more food, keep enough back to where we’ve got food for today and for tomorrow, and it will also help us buy food in bulk.”

Adams is the only full-time employee and said the food bank could always use more volunteers to help out with donations.

Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org

VIAThe Associated Press
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