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"And you can just kind of see, this whole area here was built onto our existing facility to house this."
Tom Faulkner is director of Crosslines Food Pantry, an agency of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks. He’s proud of the new addition to the building that includes new freezer space and room to add a refrigeration unit.
A grant from Ozarks Food Harvest as well as donations from several local businesses and individuals helped Crosslines to get the new 8’ X 16’ freezer, which increased its frozen food storage capacity by 500 percent.
According to Faulkner, before, the organization had only three chest freezers, which offered roughly 68 cubic feet of space…
"And, for a pantry, that's very difficult because you cannot accept a lot of donated food. You cannot buy a lot of donated food, and one of the big things at a pantry is getting protein, which is those meats that we can hold now that we couldn't hold before."
There were times Crosslines had to turn away donations. Or they had to give out extra food—and fast—so it didn’t go to waste…
"Now, we can go ahead and spread it out, and more people can be served with this process."
The need for the new storage space is great. Faulkner says, last year, Crosslines put together food baskets for approximately 31,000 people. The organization saw 116 more families in January than in the same month last year. And he expects the need to continue to grow.
Money is currently being raised for a new 8’ X 16’ refrigeration unit, which will increase the cold storage space from the current 120 cubic feet to 1,024 cubic feet.
Faulkner says the new unit will save time and money…
"On average, we go through about 300 half gallons of milk a week, and we have to buy that on multiple days just so we have room to put it inside of our coolers. We can buy that at a better rate, a better value and more of it and be able to hold onto that for a week or two and utilize that space."
According to Faulkner, about $7000 is still needed to be able to purchase the new unit. To find out how to help, or if your family needs assistance, visit www.ccozarks.org.
For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.