Second Harvest of the Big Bend unveils plans for expansion

The Feeding America CEO attended the organization’s first-ever Hunger Summit Monday
Second Harvest of Big Bend expanding to 30,000 square foot facility
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 11:00 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 11:06 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Second Harvest of the Big Bend announced Monday it is readying to break ground on an expansion that will allow it to offer more fresh poultry and produce to hungry families.

The food bank unveiled a rendering of a new 30,000 square foot facility and announced it plans to break ground early next year.

Second Harvest of the Big Bend is planning to expand, break ground early next year. Rendering...
Second Harvest of the Big Bend is planning to expand, break ground early next year. Rendering courtesy MLD Architects(MLD Architects)

“What they’re going to feel out in the community is an elevated value of the food going out, so higher nutrition, more food, if they come out to the food bank they’re going to see a safer place to volunteer, they’re going to see green space turn into gardening, so the entire property is a living, breathing example of what it is to be a food bank serving the Big Bend,” CEO Monique Ellsworth said.

Second Harvest has raised more than $8 million toward its $13 million goal to pay for the expansion.

The announcement came Monday at Second Harvest of the Big Bend’s first-ever Hunger Summit, featuring the CEO of Feeding America, Claire Babinueaux-Fontenot, and lots of local stakeholders.

A panel discussion explored the depth of hunger in the Big Bend, an area which has the greatest concentration of poverty in Florida.

Local lawmakers Corey Simon and Jason Shoaf were honored for helping to secure $2 million in state funding to help with Second Harvest’s expansion plans.

Construction is expected to be completed in 2025.

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