San Francisco Warehouse Expansion
We committed to expanding our facilities prior to COVID-19 and launched the capital campaign in 2017. Pre-pandemic, the Food Bank was already exceeding warehouse capacity by 60%, which required leasing temporary warehouses. The unprecedented surge in food insecurity caused by the pandemic has reinforced our critical need for more space. Our new facilities will allow us to serve many more of our neighbors in need and to be more adaptable to changing community demand in the future. We will not have excess space after the pandemic passes.
Yes, we will continue to offer volunteer opportunities that are modified appropriately for safety during the pandemic. Please visit our Volunteer page for more information.
We plan to break ground on the San Francisco facility in late Spring 2021 and hope to complete construction by late 2022. Campaign fundraising will continue throughout this period.
We are grateful for gifts of any amount to the campaign. Every dollar will bring us closer to our goal of building a future without hunger, and we welcome your partnership at any level.
We plan to enlarge our warehouse by approximately 32,000 square feet by eliminating our north parking lot and expanding our warehouse into that space. We will be moving the displaced parking to an ancillary parking lot close by.
We plan to add two loading docks on the north end of the building, which will enable us to use the south docks primarily for outbound food and focus inbound food on the new north docks. By maximizing the efficiency with which food flows through the warehouse, we will increase capacity and be able to serve more of those in need – moving more food, more quickly into our community.
We had outgrown our facility before the pandemic. To reach the thousands who turned to us for the first time last year, we cobbled together a combination of tents and rented warehouses. We didn’t have enough space to meet the need, something we have known for years.
When the Food Bank started this project 5 years ago, the goal was to build for the future, but it turns out we are building for right now. Before the pandemic, the Food Bank was already a vital lifeline for 140,000 people every week. The economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 forced thousands more to turn to us for help. We are no longer renovating just to expand, but to sustain – to continue to meet the elevated levels of need and to be able to serve more than 200,000 people weekly.
This expansion is an opportunity to reach those we weren’t serving before, not just in crisis but over the long term. It’s not just about expanding a building, it’s about creating the space necessary to provide food for our neighbors who are making real, practical choices every day about where they’re spending scarce dollars – choices that weigh on families, choices that are hard. Our community is hurting. Together, we can relieve that hurt and build hope.
We have started some work and are planning to break ground in the north parking lot late Spring, 2021, and to complete construction a year later.
We do not distribute food directly to participants from our warehouse; participants obtain food through our pop-ups, pantry network, and agency partners at partner sites. However, at our warehouse, we will be able to accommodate more volunteers and additional inbound and outbound deliveries.
Today, we do both receiving and shipping out of the south side of our building. Our expansion plans will move receiving to the northwest side of the building. The new receiving docks will be off the street, behind the expanded portion of our new building.
Currently, our San Francisco warehouse receives approximately 4-6 truckloads of food per day. Our staff and volunteers then repackage food for distribution to approximately 50-60 locations daily, resulting in about 10-12 outbound trips each day.
With the expansion, inbound trucks will increase over time to 6-9 trucks daily. The number of outbound trips, distributing food to the community, will increase over time to 15-18 per day.
Once the expansion is completed, Food Bank receiving will be moved to the northwest corner of our facility. This will reduce the amount of truck activity on the south side, which is the residential side of our facility.
The profile of the expansion is the same height as the existing building and respects the 40-foot height zoning. The expansion will be done on the northside, next to the existing commercial property.
Today, we operate nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accomplish our mission. Our building generally opens each day at 2 a.m. and shuts down around midnight. We anticipate operating the same hours, although the timing of some functions may shift.
Deliveries are made to the Food Bank between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. We schedule all of our receipts to prevent multiple deliveries hitting the docks at the same time. The unload time varies dependent on the load, but it is generally no longer than one hour.
The Food Bank’s board of directors approved the conceptual expansion at the end of 2018. In 2019, we started doing outreach to our immediate neighbors and key stakeholders and filed our initial application with the Planning Department. We have secured city approvals and will begin construction this spring and be completed in 2022.
We will be fully compliant with the San Francisco Green Building code, including reducing energy and water, diverting waste from landfill, encouraging alternative modes of transportation, and supporting the health and comfort of building occupants. We also anticipate expanding our current solar field to support the expanded building.
Notably, a key part of our operating model is to prevent millions of pounds of waste from going into landfill by diverting usable food from the waste stream and redirecting it to our neighbors in need. Our expansion will allow us to further those capabilities.
If you are interested in making a significant financial contribution to support our expansion, please contact Senior Director of Development Nancy Sackson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-282-1900.
Please, send an email to us at email@example.com. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with additional questions!
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