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Food Bank Celebrates Anniversary With Expansion

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To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the River Bend Food Bank in Davenport is planning a major expansion. Tuesday it announced construction could begin this summer with completion in a year.

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Instead of a groundbreaking, speakers used trowels to turn some corn kernels, symbolizing John Deere support that provided the "seed" funds to open the Food Bank.

President and CEO Mike Miller says more than half of the 9.4 million dollar cost has been raised already in the campaign called "Expanding to End Hunger."

"So this food bank and this expansion project doesn't belong to me or this staff, it belongs to our entire community. And so we ask the community to help us to build this big enough to meet the entire need. That's what "Expanding to End Hunger" is all about."

The Food Bank opened in 1982, at the height of the farm crisis, and one of the first partners was the Project Now community action agency. Executive Director Dwight Ford says every hour of every day, someone benefits from the work of the Food Bank.

"Food insecurity, hunger, is an unwelcome intruder in our region's house and it must be evicted. And that's why I love this organization's bold commitment to end hunger."

The River Bend Food Bank now distributes more than 20 million meals a year to more than 300 partner organizations, in 23 Iowa and Illinois counties.

The expansion will add 25,000 square feet to the current 60,000 square foot warehouse.