Refrigeratedtransporter 628 N Il Food Bank Pic

Northern Illinois Food Bank opens LEED-approved facility

Sept. 30, 2011
Northern Illinois Food Bank has opened a new facility that not only will help it provide more food to hungry people in 13 counties, but also is designed to meet Gold LEED certification requirements.

Northern Illinois Food Bank has opened a new facility that not only will help the non-profit provide more food to hungry people in 13 counties, but also is designed to meet Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification requirements.

This food bank provides food to more than 60,000 people each week through a network of about 600 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and youth and senior centers in Boone, DuPage, DeKalb, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will, and Winnebago counties.

The Community Nutrition and Food Distribution Center:

•More than doubles dry storage space.

•Triples freezer capacity.

•Includes a dual-temperature refrigerator to prolong freshness of dairy and produce.

•Increases the number of docks from nine to 14, including three refrigerated docks.

•Offers new opportunities for bulk product donations with a “Clean Room” that allows safe repacking of large quantities into family-sized portions.

•Includes a Community Nutrition Center that will allow for healthy cooking classes and increased educational opportunities for partner agencies, the clients they serve, and community groups.

Designed to meet Gold LEED requirements, the center features environmental and energy-savings factors including:

•An HVAC system that uses hot air exhaust emitted from the refrigeration and freezer systems to heat the warehouse.

•Recycled and reused products: Carpeting, ceiling tiles and other items are made of recycled materials. Refurbished office cubicles kept metal frames from a landfill, and saved the food bank enough money to provide 90,000 meals.

•Use of light-colored concrete in the loading dock lot and a white roof, rather than asphalt, help offset global warming.

•Motion sensors regulate lighting for energy savings.

The new center replaces an outdated warehouse in St Charles IL. Until the new center opened, the food bank used refrigerated trucks to store perishables around the clock, and rented freezer space at an off-site location. Donations of bulk foods could not be accepted because the warehouse lacked the proper area to safely repack such items.

Recent studies conducted by Feeding America show that 12.5% of the population in the 13 counties Northern Illinois Food Bank serves—and nearly one in four children—live in households that struggle to meet basic food needs.

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