MEMPHIS, Tenn. —It's been non-stop for workers at the new Mid-South Food Bank on South Perkins. They've been unloading pallet after pallet of food that will fill the enormous warehouse.
"It's over $200,000 square feet. We're going to be able to, if not double, then triple the numbers we currently do. The amount of individuals we feed," Director of Volunteer Services, Clifton Rockett said.
While the food bank will be hiring some new employees, more space means a need for more volunteers. As many as 150 volunteers are needed.
"They usually come in for about a two-hour shift or longer if they're available. They'll help us sort through a lot of the donated goods we get in, so we can classify them as "good or bad" and get them back out to the people who need them," Rockett said.
This is a far cry from the food bank's longtime home on Dudley Street in the medical district. The facility was described as antiquated, dark and drab.
Now, in addition to the huge warehouse space, there's a 37,000 square-foot freezer and cooler and more space for sorting donations.
"Everything is under one roof, so we'll become much more efficient. We'll be able to process and move food out much faster," Mid-South Food Bank President Estella Mayhue-Greer said.
Now, the work continues to attack hunger in the food bank's 31 county service area. It's a challenge that's showing some progress.
On Thursday there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony, but the Mid-South Food Bank doesn't fully open until Monday.