Crisis Center of Johnson County is celebrating the new addition to its food bank

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Crisis Center of Johnson County ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house

Crisis Center, 1121 S Gilbert Court — Thursday, Aug. 16 at 5 p.m.

The food bank at the Crisis Center of Johnson County, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. — photo by Zak Neumann

The Crisis Center of Johnson County will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for the new and much-needed expansion to its food bank warehouse.

When the center broke ground on the expansion in March, Sara Sedlacek explained to Little Village just how great the need was.

“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,” said Sedlacek, the center’s communication and development director. “Now, we’re serving well over 1,000 families a week, and distributing 1.6 million pounds of food annually.”

In addition to more space, the new expansion will add another cooler for food storage. The Crisis Center will also have a new 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 said. “That’s going to be a huge improvement.”

The Crisis Center will be expanding their warehouse and adding a repackaging room. Friday, March 16, 2018. — photo by Zak Neumann

The expansion ended up costing substantially more than original estimates, because of crises elsewhere. The need to rebuild following the devastation caused by storms during the 2017 hurricanes drove up the cost of building materials. As the center prepared break ground, it still needed to raise $50,000. But on the day of groundbreaking, Adamantine Spine Movers announced it would match community donations up to $25,000.

Between community donations matched by Adamantine Spine, and grants, the center was able to reach its goal.

The ribbon-cutting will take place at the Crisis Center, 1121 S Gilbert Court, at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The 90-minute open house will start immediately after the ribbon is cut, and will feature free food, courtesy of the Iowa City Downtown Rotary Club.

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