The Food Bank of Southern Iowa officially debuted their new facility in Ottumwa with an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning.
The food bank has been serving the area for 28 years. Last year, the food bank was told they needed to move out of their old, inadequate facilities if they wanted to continue receiving food donations. They moved into the new building this month.
"So far, so good," said Board Chair Cheryl Steffen. "The streamlined facility is wonderful, the staff just thinks its great. And the working conditions are better than where we were before."
Currently, the food bank serves 13 counties in Southeast Iowa, providing food for mostly Lord's Pantry resources and 160 other agencies. The demand for food continues to increase.
"Hunger just doesn't seem to decrease," Steffen said. "It seems as if as the years go on, the need increases. And there are so many children, elderly people, and families that are living substandard and nutrition is an issue for them. That is why we are here."
The new location is capable of housing more donations, including around 75% more frozen food, thanks to a walk-in freezer.
The Food Bank of Southern Iowa hopes to collect $400,000 worth of donations to help pay the bills on the facility and continue to provide food for families in need.
The food bank accepts food and cash donations year round. Just one dollar can buy $15 worth of food.