Crisis Center of Johnson County breaks ground on an expansion to its food bank

Crisis Center Executive Director Becci Reedus speaks before the groundbreaking. Friday, March 16, 2018. — photo by Zak Neumann

The Crisis Center of Johnson County broke ground on an addition to its food bank’s warehouse on Friday morning. There’s a real need for the extra space, said Sara Sedlacek, the center’s communication and development director.

“The warehouse was originally built in 2003. We were serving about 350 families a week then, and distributing about 500,000 pounds of food annually,” Sedlacek told Little Village. “Now, we’re serving well over 1,000 families a week, and distributing 1.6 million pounds of food annually.”

But the improvements to the warehouse will involve more than just extra space.

“We’re adding another cooler,” Sedlacek said. “Especially during summer months we get a lot of donations of produce, and we also purchase a lot of produce. It would last a lot longer, if we keep it in a cooler.”

The new addition will include a repackaging room.

“Right now, we aren’t able to repackage food. So, if somebody goes to Costco and gets a giant bag of rice to donate to us, it all goes to one family, instead us being able to break it up, so it can go to several families,” Sedlacek explained. “That’s going to be a huge improvement.”

A new doorway to the outside will also be added to the food bank. Currently, clients exit the food bank by the same door that people dropping off donation enter through. Sometimes that causes a traffic jam. When construction is finished, there will be a separate entrance for people dropping off donations.

The Crisis Center has started a new round of fundraising for the warehouse expansion. The initial round of fundraising reached the center’s stretch goal of $350,000, thanks, in part, to a $45,000 matching grant from the University of Iowa Community Credit Union. But the price of the project has gone up since that goal was reached due to, ironically, a series of crises elsewhere — specifically, the devastating storms during this year’s hurricane season.

“Because of the hurricanes, we knew that the cost of materials was going to increase. That’s why we set our stretch goal,” Sedlacek said. “But now the bids have come in, and it’s going to cost us $400,000.”

“So, we still have about $50,000 to go. We’ve applied for some grants, but we will likely have to ask the community once again to help us meet our goal.”

On Friday afternoon, the center announced Adamantine Spine Moving it would match community donations up to $25,000 to help cover the cost of the expansion.

Anyone interested in contributing to the Crisis Center can do so through the center’s website.


Subscribe for daily news updates from Little Village


Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


The Iowa City Human Rights Commission needs you!

Apply Today

@ICHumanRights »


Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.

Coralville Public Library Online Summer Reading Programs

For ages 0-99+