A large grant has helped a local nonprofit move closer to upgrading its food warehouse.
The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust awarded $32 million in grants to nonprofits across the Pacific Northwest.
NeighborImpact in Redmond received $600,000, which will be used to upgrade its refrigeration.
“We’ve doubled the amount of individuals served,” said Food Program Director Carly Sanders. “We don’t see an increase in that any time soon, especially with the rise in inflation. So really to meet the needs here in Central Oregon, we have outgrown this space and we need to expand.”
Sanders says the non-profits receive and distribute around four million pounds of food a year throughout the Tri-County area.
Around 60% of the food that goes through its warehouse is fresh produce, with another large chunk being meat and dairy.
“So looking at our cooler when we do four million pounds and we are running out of a 500 square foot cooler, It’s just really inadequate,” she said.
Last year NeighborImpact served more than four hundred and eighty five thousand individuals, equaling thirty four thousand families.
It set a goal to raise around 5 million dollars to build a brand new facility still on the property in Redmond.
“The new warehouse will be about 3 times this size, we’re hoping for a 10,000 square foot building,” Sanders said. “We’ll have indoor coolers and freezers. Our coolers right now are outside and exposed to the elements.”
NeighborImpact has already raised more than four million three hundred dollars through public grants, fundraisers, foundations and private individuals.
“In order to provide those healthy fresh foods that really nourish our neighbors and our community, this money will absolutely be able to make that happen,” said Sanders.
Mountain Star Family Nursery in Bend received more than two hundred sixty four thousand dollars to hire new program staff.