You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Springfield food bank gets $40K to expand storage

$94,000 project will handle perishables increasingly needed to feed Clark County’s hungry.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties has received a $40,000 grant from Cargill, money that will help it to quadruple its cold storage space as it struggles to keep up with increasing demand from its surging clientele.

Katie McMillan, who leads Cargill’s Nourishing People Campaign in Sidney, said the company is “trying to help ensure everyone has enough to eat by partnering with organizations to help find long-term solutions” to hunger.

“We can’t thank them enough,” said Keith Williams, executive director of the food bank, describing the grant as the latest in an improbable series of events that will allow the Springfield facility to handle more perishables at a time when they have become an increasing portion of the food used to fill empty plates.

Williamson said Second Harvest was able to get the Cargill grant by using $50,000 in seed money the Springfield Port Authority donated in April after Springfield News-Sun reports of increased hunger in the community.

The Port Authority grant was targeted at cold storage, one of the issues the food bank was hoping to address as part of a facilities study it was about to launch when the Port Authority acted.

Now, with a second donation from Cargill, “we’re already ahead of the game,” Williams said. “It truly shows a lot of people in the community understand what we’re dealing with.”

In a press release, Second Harvest said it is “close to having the $94,000 in funds to build a new 34-by-37-by-18 foot cooler” and that “additional donations of $56,000 are needed to convert the existing cooler to freezer space, completing the needed upgrade to the cold storage units.”

Williamson said he and his staff are working with parent agency Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio to “firm up the whole pricing process” for buying the cooler and converting the freezer.

Once that’s decided, he said, “it’s a seven- to nine-week time process” to get the cooler ordered, delivered and installed. “Our plan is to get it rolling in early fall, maybe mid-September.”

He said the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has also “elected to give us additional funds to get it done.”

The expansion would increase the 701 E. Columbia St. facility’s cold storage capacity from the current 16 pallets to 54. By converting its current cooler/freezer unit to all frozen foods, it will increase frozen food capacity by 40 percent.

Williamson said perishable food has become more important to food banks in recent years because shelf-stable donations have leveled off at the same time that more and more people need to be fed.

He added that deliveries of perishables like meat and produce typically come available “in large quantities.”

Because it hasn’t had enough capacity, the food bank has been unable to bid on food offered by the “Feeding America” or take full advantage of other suppliers, including Walmart, Meijer and Kroger.

“My product sources are very in tune with our limitations,” Williamson said.

He expects them to be just as in tune with the increased capacity, which will arrive just in time.

“Already through may of this year, 11 percent more people are visiting Food Bank member agencies compared with the same time in 2012,” the press release announcing the grant said. “Children account for 35 percent of these clients, with 14 percent more served this year than last year.”

In all, the food bank finds, collects, sorts and distributes more than 3.4 million pounds of food a year to people through its 73-member agencies.

The demand is expected to continue to surge. The Feeding America program earlier this year advised food banks to plan for increases of 4.5 percent annually for the next five years.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Idaho woman blames car crash on deer-chasing Bigfoot
Idaho woman blames car crash on deer-chasing Bigfoot

A northern Idaho woman blamed a car crash with a deer on a Sasquatch sighting last week. >> Read more trending news The woman told police she collided with the deer after spotting a Bigfoot on a highway near Potlatch near the Washington border, according to NBC Montana. The woman said the Sasquatch was chasing the deer Wednesday night along the...
World War 1 exhibit opening at Clark County Heritage Center
World War 1 exhibit opening at Clark County Heritage Center

A local historical Society next month will be hosting a World War 1 themed exhibit featuring artifacts from Springfield residents. The Clark County Historical Society will be debuting their two-year exhibit Global Conflict, Local Experience: Clark County Joins the Great War at their museum at the Heritage Center, 117 S. Fountain Ave, on April 6th....
Trump now blames conservative Republicans for healthcare failure
Trump now blames conservative Republicans for healthcare failure

  President Donald Trump is now pointing the finger at an ultra-conservative Republican faction in the House for the GOP failure to rally a vote on House speaker Paul Ryan’s American Healthcare Act, scuttling the bill on Friday. >> Read more trending news But on Friday, it wasn’t the far-right Freedom Caucus, but the Democrats...
Five things to know: Are you at risk for a cyber attack?
Five things to know: Are you at risk for a cyber attack?

If you’re online, you’re at risk, experts say. “The fact of the matter is we as a society do more and more and more stuff online — that’s individuals, that’s governments, that’s businesses — and when you do that … what we call the threat surface has grown exponentially,” said David Salisbury...
New Carlisle community garden prepped for second season
New Carlisle community garden prepped for second season

New Carlisle residents are planning for the second season of planting in the community garden. The garden is located on about a third of an acre lot donated by the city next to the closed Madison Street school. Organizers have been working to put boards around each of the plots. “We have 40 plots, and approximately 20 people have plots,&rdquo...
More Stories