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Austin Food Bank To Double In Size

Photo by BLundin
The Capital Area Food Bank operates remote food centers, but its main distribution hub on South Congress is slated to move to a new, larger facility in 2013.

The Capital Area Food Bank hands out the weight of a Boeing 737's worth of food every day: 70,000 pounds. That adds up to about 2 million pounds a month, and 24 million pounds a year.

“It sounds like a lot of food,” Capital Area Food Bank spokesman John Turner said. “It is.”

The problem is that the food bank’s current building at 8201 S. Congress Ave. in South Austin can only hold about 2 million pounds of food.

“We are basically hitting the operational capacity of the current facility,” Turner said.

That’s why the Capital Area Food Bank announced today that it intends to build a new facility that is twice as large. It will be constructed on land at the Met Center, an area near the intersection of Riverside Drive and Ben White Boulevard.

Food Bank officials hope to break ground on the 125,000 square foot building next spring, and to move in by late 2013. Turner says they are not yet releasing cost estimates for the upgrade.

Demand for food has been growing steadily over the past ten years, as has the population of Central Texas. There are 26 percent more people living here now than in 2000, according to the latest census estimates.

But since the economic downturn hit in 2008, “demand has just really spiked,” Turner said. He says demand increased by 50 percent over the last three years.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.