It’s been several years in the making, and Monday night the community turned out in a big way to help celebrate the opening.
One of the largest food banks in the Wabash Valley, Terre Haute Catholic Charities, will now be able to help even more people as organizers cut the ribbon on a brand-new facility.
The new warehouse will allow the non-profit organization to feed three times more residents in need in the Wabash Valley.
“The need in our community, here in West-Central Indiana includes about 41,000 food insecure individuals, half of that includes seniors and children under the age of 18,” Catholic Charities Executive Director John Etling said.
Located at 14 1/2 Street, the building is more than 10,000 square feet, and the effort to build it was the result of a $2 million fundraising effort.
The foodbank works with 90 member agencies and 11 mobile pantries each month in seven counties throughout the Wabash Valley.
Hundreds of people along with local leaders came to the event to share in the excitement about the endeavor.
“I think it speaks volumes, not just to the local community here, but the caring nature that the people in this community do have for those that are struggling, and there’s too many,” Etling said.
The poverty rate of Vigo County ranks third in the state, and fourth in state when it comes to children under 18.
At their old location, the foodbank moved 3.1 million pounds of food each year reaching more than 32,000 residents in need.
Now with the new facility the organization is trying to get 4.5 million pounds of food in the upcoming years, and hopefully help approximately 41,000 people.
“There’s a gap there of about 9,000 people that by building a larger facility we will be able to bring in more food, and then distribute more food so it can get to the households that need it,” Etling said.
The number of residents in poverty and with food insecurities is on the rise. But officials say with the new facility, the ability to reach those in need is easier than ever.
“We are grateful for everything that we have had to do to get to this point, and we will continue to wave the flag and beat the drum so people know where they can go when it comes to food,” Etling said.
Officials with Catholic Charities hope to move into their new facility by Memorial Day.
The former foodbank location on Locust Street will be repurposed and it will be used by Bethany House and Youth Ministries.
To learn more about Terre Haute Catholic Charities click here.