Golden Harvest Food Bank broke ground for a new produce rescue center at their headquarters in Augusta.
The food bank, located at 3301 Commerce Drive, serves 11,000 square miles across Georgia and South Carolina. Golden Harvest President and CEO Amy Breitmann and Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot spoke about Phase 2 of the project.
“This building will house increased cold and freezer space, another space for volunteers to help sort, pack and distribute fresh produce to our community partners and serve as a new pickup area for our agency orders,” Breitmann said.
“I find that there are people that don’t have enough to make ends meet all across the beautiful country – richest county in the history of civilization and the most generous people on the whole planet, a country where billions and billions and billions of pounds of perfectly edible food go to landfills. But I’ve also seen extraordinary generosity and support in every single place that I go,” Babineaux-Fontenot said.
Phase 1 of the renovation, which started in July, includes a new welcome area, volunteer experience center and additional workspaces. It is expected to be operational this summer.
“At a time like this, when we realize that there’s always more demand than there is supply, for us being able to feed our homes, feed our needy, inflation still remains at a 20-year high and it gives me great hope that the Golden Harvest Food Bank in their efforts are presenting opportunities to help our community,” Augusta Mayor Garnett Johnson said.
Golden Harvest Food Bank has an 8.8 million meal gap within its 25-county service area.
“This produce center is going to enable them to bring in more fresh Georgia-grown produce to distribute, increasing the variety of healthy food that is available to people in the area,” said Danah Crafts, executive director of Feeding Georgia. “Georgia farmers donate more than 30 million pounds of fresh ugly produce to us every year and their ability to have a place to sort it and pack it and hold it at the right temperature so that it is fresh and lasts as long as it needs to once people get it into their homes and into their refrigerators will make a huge impact.”
To learn more about Golden Harvest Food Bank and additional volunteer opportunities, visit its website.