Elk Grove Food Bank Services (EGFB) on April 26 began operating its food storage and distribution warehouse at its new location at 9888 Kent St., within walking distance of its former Dino Drive facility.
Food bank staff are now aiming for a smooth opening for this new facility early next month and a grand opening in early June.
The opening of the store was an emotional day for EGFB Executive Director Marie Jachino, given that it was her dream for the 48-year-old food bank to open its first permanent home. A warehouse opening ceremony was held last August.
Jachino described the store’s opening as a “historic day for Elk Grove.”
“I’m overwhelmed,” she said as she held back tears of joy. “It’s really surreal. There are (there are) a lot of people in need. And I don’t think people realize that we serve the community six days a week. Our operation is seven days a week.”
Valerie Erwin, head of community outreach for the food bank, spoke about Jachino’s dream of having a permanent home for the food bank.
“(Jachino has had) this vision for so long that it’s a joy to have the opportunity to work with her and see her, to see this come to fruition,” he said. “All she’s talking about is being able to better serve the community. That’s all she’s ever wanted, and all of a sudden we can touch this (new store).
Jachino told Citizen that his vision for this permanent home began 14 years ago.
“I was determined, and every time a door closed, I didn’t give up,” he said.
The opening of the store is a great achievement in the food bank’s effort to complete its complete relocation to Kent Street.
The food bank, which serves thousands of people in Elk Grove and some other parts of South Sacramento County each month, has overtaken its Dino Drive site in a small warehouse.
Jachino noted that the full transition to the new location will not take place until May 15.
“It will be when the main office moves (to Kent Street),” he said. “We will be fully integrated as an organization in one place.”
The food bank recently acquired a two-week lease extension at the former location, Jachino added.
“The reason for the delay is that we have a lot of improvements for tenants in the front building (on Kent Street),” he said. And the facade (building) is going to be a work in progress. You have to put up a fence. We have some drainage issues. We have many areas that we need to take care of. It will be about six months before (that building) is probably complete. ”
One of the most significant additions to the warehouse is its 600-foot refrigerator. That room was made possible by a $ 60,000 donation from Elk Grove residents Simon L. and Merrilee Lewis Engel.
Another feature of the warehouse is a large room that will become the new location of the EGFB wardrobe.
Jachino referred to the wardrobe as a “key” part of Elk Grove’s food bank services.
“We’ll all be together in one building,” he said. “We’ve always been apart, so that’s a big deal. And people love our wardrobe, and everything we do here is free, at no cost.”
Most of the funding for the new food bank facility was through a $ 4 million state grant that Assembly Member Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, helped raise through state funding in 2019.
“This would not have been possible without the $ 4 million that Assemblyman Jim Cooper was donated to state funding,” Jachino said. “It’s such a beautiful contribution to the community.”
Also contributing to the project are the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District, which provided funding for solar panels, and Jeffrey Adkins’ Elk Grove business, Future Energy Savers, which provided free labor to install those panels.
The new facility also includes a state-of-the-art security system.
Another important feature of the new food bank store is a program that offers customers the opportunity to choose the foods they most want to eat.
One such customer, Dawn Prestridge, shared her experience with that program and the new store in general.
“This was my first time (in the new place) and it was a beautiful experience,” he said on April 26th. “So organized, everything is so fresh and they are very useful. And it was the best shopping experience I’ve had.
“(The warehouse) is clean, it is organized. He is so organized. That’s the best part. I am very excited about this (new installation). This is how the best move the food bank could make was to put it here. “
With the new larger food bank facility it creates a greater need for volunteer work, Jachino said.
“We desperately need more volunteers, because you need them to help customers and do the transportation of their cars and help with this new program,” he said. “That’s one of our biggest needs right now.”
As for the Dino Drive premises of the food bank, Jachino mentioned that arrangements have already been made for that facility to be rented to a new occupant.
Jachino added that the historic opening day of the food bank, which began at 10 a.m., was very successful.
“Everyone is excited to see this new building,” he said. “Everyone here is welcome. We treat them with dignity and respect. We don’t reject anyone and today is an amazing day.”
Elk Grove Food Bank opens warehouse at new location | News Source link Elk Grove Food Bank opens warehouse at new location | News