Refrigerated Storage Unit Will Help Get Millions of Pounds of Fresh Produce to Those in Need
Caritas of Waco and the Central Texas Food Bank will officially dedicate a new 2,375 cubic-foot produce hub for storing and distributing fresh produce with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, September 20, at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at Caritas, 300 South 15th Street in Waco.
The two organizations worked together on the innovative produce hub concept, which allows for more fresh produce to be distributed to those in need in the greater Waco area. The produce hub is a used 40-foot-long shipping container that was purchased by the Central Texas Food Bank and retrofitted with insulation and a refrigeration unit as a cold storage space for fresh produce. It was placed in the back parking lot of the Caritas facility, which provides both a secure location and easy access for local food pantries and soup kitchens that come to stock up on fresh produce for the people they serve.
“We’re thrilled that the Central Texas Food Bank selected us for this practical, cost-effective alternative to installing additional walk-in cooler space inside our building,” said Buddy Edwards, Executive Director at Caritas of Waco. “We’re on a pace to have nearly 3.5 million pounds of food come through the produce hub in its first year, allowing us and other food relief charities in the area to get even more fresh, nutritious food to our neighbors in need.”
The cold storage capacity of the hub allows for produce donated by local retailers and growers, as well as produce shipped from growers in the Rio Grande Valley, to be stored for quick distribution by Caritas, either directly to their clients or to other hunger fighting agencies in the area.
“Our team is always looking for new and innovative ways to get more food, especially fresh produce, to those in need,” said Hank Perret, President and CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank. “Having this produce hub at Caritas means that millions of pounds of food can come directly to Waco from retailers and growers without making a stop at the Food Bank in Austin. So the food stays fresher and gets out to the community faster. It’s a win for everyone.”
To beautify the otherwise plain looking storage unit, art students from Baylor University generously donated their time and talents to decorate the produce hub with a mural spanning the entire 40-foot length of the container’s side.
The ceremony will be emceed by Caritas of Waco Executive Director, Buddy Edwards, and feature comments by:
- Charles “Doc” Anderson, State Representative, District 56
- Hank Perret, President and CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank
- Buddy Edwards, Executive Director, Caritas of Waco
After the formal ceremony, all speakers will be available for interviews.
The proceedings will begin at 10:00 a.m., and media are encouraged to arrive 10-15 minutes early for setup, if required.
What: Fresh Produce hub dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony
When: 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Where: Caritas of Waco, 300 South 15th Street, Waco, TX 76701
Interview Opportunities: All speakers listed above will be available for interviews
- Speakers (listed above) making comments to formally dedicate the Produce hub
- Ceremonial inaugural load of fresh produce being loaded onto a truck from the Produce hub
- Decorative mural painted on the storage hub by Baylor University students
On-site Media Contacts
- Paul Gaither, Central Texas Food Bank. email@example.com. Cell: 512-550-9030
- Buddy Edwards, Executive Director, Caritas of Waco. firstname.lastname@example.org. Office: 254-753-4593, ext. 205
ABOUT CARITAS OF WACO
Founded in 1967, Caritas of Waco is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide urgent support to those in need in the Waco community. The Emergency Assistance program provides help with food, prescription medications, clothing, household items and utilities and rent to those who qualify. Caritas also provides “SNAP” Outreach and case management services. Caritas interviews all recipients of Emergency Assistance to determine their individual needs. Caritas served over 68,000 people in 2015 and relies heavily on the support of the community for donations of funds, food and volunteer time. For more information on Caritas of Waco and its programs, visit caritas-waco.org.
ABOUT THE CENTRAL TEXAS FOOD BANK
The mission of Central Texas Food Bank is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in ending hunger. Founded in 1981, the Food Bank provides food and grocery products through a network of nearly 250 Partner Agencies and nutrition programs, serving nearly 46,000 people every week. Headquartered in Austin, the Food Bank serves 21 counties in Central Texas, an area about twice the size of Massachusetts. For more information on the Food Bank and its programs, visit centraltexasfoodbank.org.