A number of those present took turns turning dirt with shovels in the commemorative "ground breaking," with the steel framework of the building already rising in the background. Click on the images to make them larger.
The new building is located one block east of the present location. CLICK HERE for a Google maps view of the area.
chairman of the Board and Capital Campaign Chairman
for the Northshore Food Bank
for the Northshore Food Bank
Rogers said the food bank has been growing over the past three decades due to the increasing needs in the community and also due to the dedication and love of its volunteers. "The community has been very generous in supporting this project," he said.
Covington Mayor Mike Cooper congratulated the food bank on its accomplishment and told of its key significance in the community.
Terri Turner-Marse, CEO of the Northshore Food Bank, welcomed those present and gave remarks regarding the event. "For 35 years the Northshore Food Bank has been addressing the food insecurity present within our Northshore Community. We have occupied 3 locations on Columbia St., and our name has been changed 3 times! What has remained steadfast is the commitment of our organization and of this community to fight hunger," she said.
"With each relocation, a vision was developing of expanding not only the geography of our service area but also the methods by which we touch those experiencing food insecurity. What became clear was a larger footprint was required. In 2010, our board of directors began to purchase these plats of property in hopes of this day, this moment... of building a new food bank distribution center," she went on to say.
The new building will allow better access and reduced car lines for vehicles trying to reach the Food Bank, and it will provide onsite parking to participants and the more than 500 people who volunteer with the agency annually.
She felt that the new facility will significantly improve the effectiveness, efficiency and safety within warehouse operations as they expand services with different distribution methods.
"There are so many who have made this day possible," she said. "Our board of directors who painstakingly worked toward establishing the vision some years ago and those who are implementing the vision today; the City of Covington adopted our vision and helped ensure we kept our services right here at home; and our architect and contractor created the concept and design of the facility which would implement that vision."
She also thanked their lender and subcontractors who provided the necessary support to bring the vision to reality. "And finally our community of supporters, most especially the donors and our contributors of our capital campaign, as it is with their engagement, their contribution and support that we are able to be present in this milestone moment today," she explained.
"This has been a long time in the works, a long-time vision of our board,and we are so excited to see this project happening now," Ms. Turner-Marse continued. "So glad we were able to build a new home, just steps away from our current home. It's an unfortunate fact that food insecurity has become an epidemic in our community. The face of hunger has changed and it affects not just the critically impoverished. Now more people are hungry."
"So as the need in our community changes and grows, we have outgrown the footprint of our current home," she said. It will provide them with more space as well as the capability to operate more safely and more efficiently. She thanked her amazing board of directors, "Our visionaries - the emeritus board," and their architects & general contractors.
Among those taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony were Jimmy Rogers, Harry Warner, Ken Latham, Mayor Mike Cooper, John Baldwin, Joe Chautin, Paul Davis, Ken Latham, Mayor-elect Mark Johnson, and City Council members Jerry Coner and Larry Rolling. Also taking part were building representatives Kyle Kent and Vincent Cangiamilla.
Mayor Cooper said it was a great afternoon for the event, the beginning of a brand new vision for the Northshore Food Bank. "Their vision of a larger building will provide for the needs of our citizens in Covington, and beyond." The city is honored to have the facility in this community to continue serving the needs of all those in the area.
The new building will offer 9660 square feet of warehouse floorspace as well as a 4360 square foot administrative area. More parking would be available for visiting clients also.
The food bank was established in 1984, and now also operates a dental clinic and thrift store on Columbia Street, about a block from the site of the new building.
An artist rendering of The Columbia Street thrift store and dental clinic after the food distribution warehouse is opened.