Georgia Mountain Food Bank executive director Rebecca Thurman speaks Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, during a grand re-opening and ribbon-cutting event with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce to unveil their capital expansion of the Boomershine Family Logistics Center. – photo by Scott Rogers


A $4.6 million expansion at the Georgia Mountain Bank in Gainesville is expected to help tackle a 30% increase in rising food insecurity across the state.

Improvements made at the facility include more space for volunteers, additional parking, a 91% increase in cold storage, 12,500 square feet of warehouse space and enough room to accommodate 36 tractor-trailer loads of food for the five counties it serves.

Speaking to about 150 people on Friday, Feb. 23, Executive Director Rebecca Thurman emphasized the food bank’s strides over the last year, specifically that the facility was able to distribute more than a million meals last year. This year, she said, Georgia Mountain Food Bank is already on track to “exceed that number by 32%.”

“Today is a new era at Georgia Mountain Food Bank, a chapter we are thrilled to share with all of you,” Thurman said. “Where we stand today is a culmination of our efforts of unveiling our enhanced facility … we’ve grown both in physical infrastructure and community impact, embodied vitality as a cornerstone of support for those we serve and we renew our commitment and spirit to further our mission.”

Following Thurman’s remarks, Donor Development Coordinator Phil Dennis commended supporters involved in the expansion.

“Your vital partnership has equipped us to address the crucial need within our community,” he said. “Your generosity and unwavering commitment to nourish our families and children and seniors is helping us meet that escalating demand for our services … thanks to your support, we now have the space we need. The next step is to stock the shelves.”

Andrew Beauchamp, treasurer of Georgia Mountain Food Bank’s board of directors, also spoke to the organization’s mission to counter food insecurity — which he said has risen across the region since the COVID-19 pandemic and continued inflation. “Especially the way the economy is going, there’s more people in need,” he said. “Having the extra room and extra capacity allows us to get more people food.”

Georgia Mountain Food Bank Donor Outreach Coordinator Phil Dennis speaks during a Grand Re-opening and ribbon cutting event Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce unveiling their capital expansion of the Boomershine Family Logistics Center. – photo by Scott Rogers

Brian Wellmeier
The Times
February 23, 2024, 3:51 PM
Originally posted here