Local charity raising money to buy giant refrigerator

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A local charity that helps to feed needy families in six states from a big warehouse in Fayette County says it is forced to turn away truckloads of donated fresh produce and meat every month because they have no place to store it. 

Thirty tons of donated food were left the warehouse here at Midwest Food Bank just Wednesday for needy families. But this Midwest Food Bank says it can do a better job with just a little refrigeration for more nutritious foods.

So, the food bank has started raising money to build a house-size refrigerator that will not only solve their cold storage problem but also improve nutrition for struggling families.

Eighteen million dollars in donated food leaves this Peachtree City warehouse every year. 

“What we are doing right now is really good. We are serving over 300 organizations give away about a million and half of food every month, but we can serve our community better," executive director Will Garner says. "And better is increasing the nutritional value of the food we distribute.”

The food they give out now, for example, is dry goods, can goods, and prepackaged products – the kinds of food we all eat, and it will feed hungry families. But Garner just says they can offer even better.

“Just like at your house, the stuff that’s in the refrigerator. That’s the best food. That’s the most expensive food. That’s the most nutritious food," he says. "So that’s what we want to provide our community, the good stuff.”

Carla McGuire with Greater Vine City Baptist Church in Atlanta says they feed 350 people a month from the food at Midwest Food Bank.  And with new housing for seniors being built across the street from the church, nutrition is critical.

“So it will be very important if we can get that produce for them,” McGuire said.

Garner says they need a big fridge, about 4,500 square feet of cold storage.

“If we can increase nutrition for the families we serve, we can help students do better in school, impact our healthcare system and improve the lives of struggling families. Everything is better with nutritious food,” he said.

For cold storage that size, Garner says the cost is $1.5 million.

So the food bank is now raising money. If you are interested in learning or donating, you can go to their website here.