Capital Area Food Bank Kicks Off Construction of New Northern Virginia Warehouse
The new facility will more than double food distribution capacity, allowing the food bank to better address increased food insecurity across Northern Virginia.
Washington, DC ― The Capital Area Food Bank hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Monday to kick off construction of a modernized distribution center that will more than double the amount of food it provides in Northern Virginia.
The new 43,000 square-foot facility will be nearly 3.5 times larger than the existing building, allowing the food bank to store and distribute more produce, provide more space for its partner nonprofits to pick up food, and offer volunteering opportunities at its Virginia warehouse for the first time.
“Building an expanded facility in Northern Virginia couldn’t come at a more important time: in the wake of the pandemic and sustained rates of inflation, there are still so many in our community who are struggling to make ends meet and to access enough nutritious food,” said Radha Muthiah, president and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank. “This building is an investment in the future of thousands of Northern Virginians, both today and in the years to come.”
The new facility will be constructed at the site of the food bank’s previous warehouse in Lorton, Va. It is set to be completed by late summer 2024.
Northern Virginia has seen dramatic rates of food insecurity in recent years. According to the food bank’s latest Hunger Report, food insecurity rates in the region ranged from 21 percent of the population in Arlington to 36 percent in Prince William County.
The previous Lorton warehouse, built in 1982 and later acquired by the food bank, no longer had the size or efficiencies required to address the area’s rising need. Its cooler and storage space were inadequate, and ongoing maintenance had become cost prohibitive.
The expanded Northern Virginia facility will enable the food bank to better support the community it serves in the years to come. Highlights of the new building’s upgrades include larger and more flexible warehouse space, upgraded technology and equipment, and the addition of a volunteer center. It will allow for providing more fresh produce and frozen protein, and to flex and grow as future needs arise.
The Northern Virginia facility is one of two CAFB warehouses that support food distribution in the region, along with the 123,000-square-foot main facility in Northeast D.C.
The new facility’s construction is being funded by both private and public sources. To date, seven locales and the Commonwealth of Virginia have invested more than $9 million in this reconstruction effort. Additionally, U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, along with U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, have prioritized seeing through investments by the federal government through Community Project Funding.
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About Capital Area Food Bank
The Capital Area Food Bank works to address hunger today and create brighter futures tomorrow for 1 million neighbors across the region who are experiencing food insecurity. As the anchor in the area’s hunger relief infrastructure, the food bank provided more than 50 million meals to people in need each year by supplying food to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including Martha’s Table, SOME – So Others Might Eat, DC Central Kitchen, Food for Others, Manna, and others. They also work in partnership with organizations across the region to address hunger’s root causes by pairing food with other critical services. For more information, visit www.capitalareafoodbank.org.