Directors and staff at Community Food Bank of San Benito County this week announced a change in plans to acquire its first property since its founding 26 years ago.
Since it was established in 1989, Community Food Bank has operated out of rented space. Several years ago, the Food Bank embarked on a campaign to build a new facility. On Oct. 20, Chief Executive Officer Maria Lynn Thomas announced a change in direction that should land the Food Bank in its new home sooner than was originally envisioned.
“After serious consideration, we have decided to end the new construction project due to the growing gap between the funding that we have secured and the increasing costs of the project,” she said. "We have approximately $2.2 million secured for the project (which would have covered the initial project cost estimate), however, due to increasing costs of construction materials and services, the current cost of the project has grown to almost $3.5 million. Given the magnitude of this funding gap, we have decided that it is not prudent or in the best interest of our supporters, donors, and clients to pursue such an expensive project.”
Instead, the Food Bank is conducting a search for a suitable site and plans to modify an existing building to house offices and operations.
“We are excited to announce that, instead, we are investigating several opportunities in the market that are more fiscally and reasonably in line with the goals of our donors and our mission to serve the community,” Thomas said. “This will provide a similar opportunity to expand our services and programs to our community without the heavy burden of debt or excessive fundraising.”
Several sites are being considered and assessed for suitability. Negotiations are expected to begin by year’s end.