Coastal Bend Food Bank, a nonprofit providing emergency food assistance across an eleven-county service area in South Texas, is constructing an approximately 108,200 sq. ft. warehouse and distribution center to increase overall food distribution capacity. The project will include ~7,900 sq. ft. of freezer and cooler space (150% increase) to expand healthy foods access, ~52,000 sq. ft. of dry storage (140% increase), ~17,000 sq. ft. dedicated volunteer space (new) to better sort, pack, and distribute food, and 18 dock doors (including 6 chilled doors). Additionally, the project features a drive through pick-up area, demonstration kitchen, dedicated nutrition services space, and community garden (all new). The Coastal Bend Food Bank (CBFB) was founded in 1982 to fight hunger and promote wellness through food distribution and nutrition education. A member of the Feeding America network, they distribute food through a network of more than 100 partners across 11 counties in Southeast Texas.
In 2010 they began an extensive mobile pantry program to fill gaps in rural areas not serviced by their partner. CBFB has woefully outgrown their existing 16,000 sq. ft. facility which has only 4,500 sq. ft. of combined cooler and freezer space and only 2 dock doors for loading trucks. It was originally designed for dry goods with long shelf lives and has no cooled repacking space. They currently rent an additional 13,000 sq. ft. of space across multiple facilities, costing them over $100,000/year. Operating this way is inefficient and costly and there is limited access to renting additional space, causing them to turn away food donations. Additionally, the size of the space prohibits them from offering a dedicated space for the 11,500 volunteers or providing a demonstration kitchen. The project is occurring during a community crisis where explosive growth for the food bank has led to urgent facility needs. As a smaller metro area, philanthropic dollars are limited, so NMTC is a critical means of supporting this expansion.