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Food bank dedicates new location

May 19, 1999

Food Resources, Inc.By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




The new Food Resources Inc. building on McRand Court west of Hagerstown was officially dedicated Wednesday but it has been in operation for several weeks.

"What a difference," said Brad Sell, executive director of the nonprofit agency that provides 55 member organizations with free food for low-income residents.

Sell said he is still getting used to the new building's convenience and efficiency.

At the former warehouse on Eldridge Drive, "The old freezer was 10 by 18 feet," Sell said. "The new freezer is 25 by 20 feet plus it is 17 feet high, so we can store two levels high."

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Sell said the freezer holds a tractor-trailer load of food.

There is double the cooler space in the new building. Its design allows large trucks to roll in one door, unload and roll out another door, Sell said.

The office space is now proportional to the rest of the building. "I have a normal size office now," Sell said. His former office was huge and a big waste of space, he said.

Ground was broken last fall for the $370,000 warehouse off Hump Road in Hagerstown.

"So far, we have $197,000 in our capital fund drive," Sell said. "$100,000 of that was from the Washington County Gaming Commission and we are so grateful."

The rest of the money is being financed through 1st National Bank of Maryland.

"Payments are less than the $2,000 a month we had been paying at the 930-A Eldridge Drive site," Sell said. "And we were told our rent was going to go up to $3,000 a month before we decided to build."

The new building was needed to meet the growing requirements for food in the community.

"We expect to have distributed 400 tons of food by June 30, the end of the fiscal year," Sell said.

Sell said that during the last fiscal year, Washington County agencies that distribute food from the warehouse served 98,000 people. He said emergency food requests increased by 18 percent during the same period.

Part of the land for the new warehouse was donated to Food Resources by Richard McCleary. The construction firm McCleary and Earley did the construction, Sell said.

In operation for more than 10 years, Food Resources started out as an arm of the Community Action Council. In 1991, it turned independent and became a United Way agency.

Food Resources gets 35 percent to 45 percent of its food through the Maryland Food Bank. It serves as a channel for donated food, and collects food from food drives or buys food in bulk and stores it at the warehouse.

A June 12 fund-raiser/yard sale/public open house is in the works from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Rain date is June 19.

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