On March 15th, 2023, we announced that the ACCESS Regional Food Bank will be relocating to a new, larger warehouse at SPACE LLC, 2195 Joseph St. in Medford.
For the past three years, ACCESS has been operating above capacity in its current warehouse. Optimally, warehouses should operate at 80%. However, ACCESS has been operating at about 120% capacity with food overflowing into a tractor-trailer in the parking lot and to an offsite storage unit. At only 5,000 square feet, ACCESS has the smallest warehouse in the state relative to the amount of food they distribute and the number of people who rely on them annually.
“We stepped back after the pandemic and the wildfires to assess if our current warehouse could adequately continue to meet this community’s needs,” says Carrie Borgen, ACCESS Executive Director, “With 1 in 5 residents relying on our food bank annually, the need to increase our capacity was clear.”
Over the past five years, ACCESS has seen the need for food almost double. In January of 2023 more than 10,000 people visited an ACCESS food pantry, the most we have ever recorded. Further, with SNAP benefits being reduced to pre-pandemic levels effective March 1, the need for food assistance is expected to only increase.
The new warehouse will have a 9,800 sq ft dry storage space for nonperishable food items, a 1,000 sq ft freezer, and a 1,000 sq ft cooler. Additionally, the new location will have a volunteer repack area that is separate from the active warehouse space and there will be two truck docks that any size semi-truck can dock to.
As the Regional Food Bank for Jackson County, ACCESS is the lead agency to provide food and drinking water to this community in disaster situations, such as fires, earthquakes, and pandemics. The new warehouse will allow ACCESS to establish an emergency stock of food and water for the County so they can effectively respond in a disaster situation.
We anticipate being in the new space in July 2023.