Hope Distribution Center (HDC) serves as the central location for food distribution to eight Emergency Assistance Center (EAC) food pantries and 21 counties served by Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. The warehouse helps us ensure a balanced inventory for all of our pantries. Its spaciousness allows us to accept USDA commodities and other large-scale donations requiring dock access. Another feature is a large walk-in freezer to store meat and other fresh items.
The food warehouse opened in August 2013 in a space previously occupied by Dressler Pet Supply. The site has three dock doors and two drive-in bays. For seven straight Saturdays, more than 130 volunteer groups including neighbors and local parish members spent over 600 hours giving the building an extensive makeover so it could be used for food storage. As a result, Catholic Charities was able to increase its capability for food distribution to 300,000 pounds per month.
Adjacent to HDC is a 1100-square-foot stone building that houses one of our food pantries. Last fiscal year, we experienced a 66% increase in the number of unduplicated individuals served. Food assistance was provided nearly 50,000 times — a 131% increase.
We rely on the generosity of volunteer-driven food drives, gifts-in-kind, as well as financial contributions to help us keep our warehouse shelves stocked to meet the growing needs of individuals and families throughout our service area. We also appreciate volunteer support to help us sort the donated food.