Getting to know our new NOVA facility: more capacity to meet the need - Capital Area Food Bank
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Getting to know our new NOVA facility: more capacity to meet the need

By cafb May 29, 2024

What does it mean to be opening a new distribution center that is nearly four times larger than our original Lorton facility?

It means that the food bank’s Northern Virginia operations team will no longer have to play Tetris when they are unloading deliveries, rearranging pallets to make enough space to move in more food. It means storage racks that previously stretched just two pallets high now are much taller, with the capacity to store five pallets of food.

And it means much more space in the cooler and the freezer, which will allow for distributing far more fresh produce and frozen protein to our neighbors.

Storage racks in the food bank’s previous Northern Virginia facility only store food two pallets high (as shown on the left). The larger facility opening later this summer has racks that can store up to five pallets of food.

These features will not only allow the food bank to better serve our neighbors in Northern Virginia, they will also make distributing food across the region more efficient. With more truck bays, the facility in Lorton will be able to receive more food directly instead of receiving food that’s initially delivered to our main warehouse in Northeast DC. That will also increase capacity at our DC warehouse to get food out to partners in the District and in Maryland.

The expanded cooler will now hold up to 468 pallets of food — nearly 10 times what could be stored in the old cooler. That will allow the food bank to source and distribute increased quantities of nutritious produce and protein. It will also enable CAFB to purchase more fresh food from our region’s local farmers, enabling our clients to access more items that were grown right here in the Greater Washington region.

A view inside the larger cooler at the soon-to-open Northern Virginia facility.

Overall, this expanded space will enable the food bank to be more efficient and effective in how we’re getting food to those who need it. Check back for additional sneak peeks as we prepare to open our doors later this summer!

Want to help us provide millions more meals to those who need them? You can still join our Building Brighter Futures campaign and help us to complete the warehouse.