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521 Trade Center St., Montgomery, AL 36108 334-263-3784 - Phone 334-262-6854 - FAX
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (August 29, 2014) -- It takes a great deal more than cutting a ceremonial ribbon to open a new 23,600 sq. ft. building, but that’s exactly what happened yesterday morning when The Honorable Robert J. Bentley, Governor of the State of Alabama, and The Honorable Todd Strange, Mayor of the City of Montgomery, joined members of the Montgomery Area Food Bank’s (MAFB) Board of Directors, staff and supporters during a brief ceremony commemorating the official opening of the new Hugh K. Rule, Jr. Building. “I hereby proclaim August 28, 2014, as The Montgomery Area Food Bank Day in the State of Alabama,” said Governor Bentley after talking about a long list of the food bank’s accomplishments in support of combating hunger in Alabama. “Most of us don’t know what
it’s like to go to bed and not know if we’re going to get something to eat tonight, or get up in the morning wondering if I’m going to have something to eat. Sometimes the people who are affected the most are out of sight and out of mind, and we don’t realize it until we search it out ...until we look at the needs that are there.“I am one who believes that government plays a role in the things that we do, but government is not the most important, because government is distant...it is not personal. Feeding people that’s a personal thing. And caring about people is a person to person thing. It’s not a government toperson thing. Government does, as I say, play an important role, but the most important thingwe can do is care about our neighbors, and having organizations like this.”
The ceremony was held indoors to afford attendees a close look at the expansive spaces utilized by MAFB to Feed Hope Across Alabama,. The new $2 million facility, which was funded largely by the philanthropic support of individual civic, corporate, commercial and community leadership, includes; 4,800 sq. ft. and 90,000 cu. ft. of Freezer/Cooler space; a 2,000 sq. ft. Volunteer Service Center; 900 sq. ft. of Office Spaces and a 3-Dock Shipping/Receiving Area with 15,900 sq .ft. of storage racking.“This new building is the culmination of a lot of hard work by dedicated professionals,”explained Montgomery Area Food Bank, Executive Director, Parke Hinman. “But, while we’ve experienced a great deal of growth since opening our doors in 1986; in order to go from the small 10,000 square foot warehouse just down the street to where we are today, there has been one constant. That is, of course, the amazing support we receive from the community.”
“This is the largest food bank in Alabama, and I want to thank you for all that,” added Bentley.“I want to thank you for what you do for Alabama - not just this area. Thirty five counties (MAFB’s service area); that’s more than half the counties in the state.”Montgomery’s food bank has developed a national reputation for mission accomplishment, which has resulted in an expanded mission - throughout Alabama. In 2010, the national food bank organization Feeding America (www.feedingamerica.org), called on MAFB to take responsibility of and provide support for an additional 10 underserved counties. Today, through Partner Distribution Organizations (smaller food banks in Tuscaloosa, Selma, Dothan and Auburn) MAFB’s extended reach provides food assistance to more than 800 local community agencies.“You see some names associated to this project, and several of our corporate sponsors have been great contributors to this….because people care,” said Mayor Strange. “They care, and of course, everyone of you here today has played a role in making this building a reality, because of everything that this center is doing - particularly in the River Region. The fact that we’re helping 35 other counties in our state certainly indicates that this food bank and the City of Montgomery are trying to do our share to help feed the hungry.” Even though MAFB was already the largest food bank in Alabama, adding 10 additional counties in 2010, translated to increasing its service area by 40%. As a result, annual food distribution surged in 2011 from 14.5 million to more than 19 million pounds - or roughly 630 tractor-trailer loads. MAFB’s annual distribution has grown to exceed 20 million pounds of food delivered to Feed Hope Across Alabama every year since.
It quickly became obvious that there was no efficient way to operate an expanded mission out of the old MAFB warehouse. Aisles were becoming clogged, while congested freezers and coolers were frequently partially emptied to gain access to needed food items for distribution. On April 27, 2012, MAFB initiated and then conducted a successful $2 million Capital Campaign in support of the financing and construction of a much-needed, new building extension. Since the completion of construction in April of 2014, MAFB has been outfitting and preparing to open their new building's doors for operations.“The support we received from our community was nothing short of amazing,” said Hinman.“It’s humbling to think that our new building was funded largely by the compassionate philanthropic response of Alabama’s civic, commercial, community and individual leadership.”While their mission involves Feeding Hope Across Alabama, MAFB doesn’t cook any food for consumption. Instead, it’s operating structure is designed to support food distribution to hungry neighbors through qualified local community agencies. As a result, those agencies are strengthened and more capable of providing additional building services and fellowship.
MAFB is what the Department of Defense (DoD) refer to as a force multiplier. The definition of which is, “A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful
mission accomplishment.”Clearly, when it comes to combating hunger, MAFB’s capabilities profoundly increase the potential of each and every one of the 800 community agencies it reaches. And, as of today, with a new building capable of realizing new efficiencies and economies of scale, MAFB is in the best position it’s ever been in to fight hunger.
After proclaiming August 28, 2014 as Montgomery Area Food Bank (MAFB) Day in the state of Alabama, Governor Robert J. Bentley (r), presents the official notice to MAFB Executive Director, Park Hinman and Deputy Director David Fata (l/r) during the recent ceremony and ribbon cutting commemorating the official opening of the food bank’s new 23,600 sq. ft. Hugh K. Rule, Jr. Building.
(State of Alabama photo by: Jamie Martin)
Preparing to cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open Montgomery Area Food Bank’s (MAFB) new 23,600 sq. ft. Hugh K. Rule, Jr. Building are (l-r); Chaplain Curtis Browder, City of Montgomery Councilman Richard Bollinger, MAFB Board of Directors Vice President and Capital Campaign Lead Tony Baggiano, Mr. Ben Beasley, Governor of Alabama Robert J. Bentley, MAFB Board of Directors President, Warren Marshall, MAFB Executive Director E. Parke Hinman, III,
Kathy Cope representing MAFB Staff and Mayor of the City of Montgomery, ToddStrange. The new $2 million facility, which was funded largely by the philanthropicsupport of individual civic, corporate, commercial and community leadership will be used
to strengthen MAFB’s extended reach of providing food assistance to more than 800 community agencies throughout 35 of Alabama’s 67 counties. (State of Alabama photo by: