June 18, 2013

God’s Pantry purchases London property

Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — LEXINGTON, Ky. – God’s Pantry Food Bank, this week, closed on a property in London, Ky. for its new London warehouse facility.  The property, located at 1215 E. 4th St., officially became a member of the GPFB warehouse network on Monday, June 10.

The 10,000 square foot facility will house food and supplies needed for the southern region of the food banking operation allowing greater access to food for the Food Bank’s network of member agencies in this region.  

“The addition of this building marks another important milestone in the growth of God’s Pantry Food Bank,”  said Marian F. Guinn, CEO, God’s Pantry Food Bank. “Our leadership team and board of directors developed a multifaceted plan to appropriately expand our infrastructure to better meet the needs of our member agencies and low income Kentuckians, and we are anxious to open this new regional distribution center this fall.”

Funding for this project has largely been made possible by a Community Development Block Grant and donations from private individuals. More than 50 programs, such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, senior centers, day treatment facilities and childcare centers, will rely on the London Distribution Center as their hub for receiving food that they distribute, free of charge, to families and individuals in need.

Adding the London facility to the network of distribution centers that God’s Pantry Food Bank operates in central and eastern Kentucky is an important step towards increasing the amount of food distributed to areas in need.

Now that God’s Pantry Food Bank owns the property, renovation can begin to make it suitable as a food safe warehousing facility.  Renovation of the building is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.  

This project is fresh on the heels of the Food Bank’s recent ribbon cutting ceremony for the expansion of the Prestonsburg Regional Distribution Center that included upgrades to the cooler and freezer.  This expansion in Prestonsburg increases the availability of fresh and frozen foods to more than 120 relief programs in at least nine eastern Kentucky counties including Floyd, Letcher, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, Pike, Perry, Knott and Lawrence.

With the installation of a new freezer unit, the Prestonsburg Center’s freezer capacity  increased from 10 to 40 pallets of food. In addition, components from a used cooler (that was replaced by a new cooling system at the Food Bank’s Lexington warehouse) are being repurposed in an upgraded cooling system project in Prestonsburg. The refrigeration upgrade  increased cooler space from 5 to 18 pallets.

“The center in Prestonsburg is valuable as a model for our new Distribution Center in London,” notes God’s Pantry Food Bank COO John Lancaster. “We have successfully increased the amount of food and people we serve in the remotest portion of our service area. Our partner agencies are better equipped to serve their clients when transportation and inventory storage is available within a reasonable distance from their location.”

God’s Pantry Food Bank has plans to officially announce and open the London distribution center in early fall of 2013.