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Central Illinois Foodbank: Feeding our Neighbors for 40 Years

Staff and volunteers pictured outside the Foodbank in recognition of the 40th anniversary on June 7th.

On June 7, 1982, Central Illinois Foodbank officially opened its doors by accepting its first donation, consisting of 10,000 pounds of apple cobbler mix. When it first opened, the Foodbank operated out of limited leased space at the Brother James Monastery. However, by the end of its first year, the Foodbank was distributing 65,000 pounds of product per month to 100 agencies spanning across 24 counties.

As Central Illinois Foodbank continued to grow its operation, it quickly became evident that its own dedicated food storage and distribution space would be necessary. In 1987, the Foodbank moved to a 22,000 square foot location located at 2000 East Moffat Street in Springfield.

By the mid-2000s, the Foodbank was distributing over 750,000 pounds of food per month from its Moffat Street location. However, thousands of pounds of donated food was having to be redirected to other food banks and food pantries due to lack of sufficient storage space, as well as a lack of proper cooling space required for storing fresh products such as produce, dairy, and other perishable items.

In 2012, the Foodbank was fortunate enough to take donation of its current 56,000 square foot facility on Cook Street in Springfield, housed in the former Pepsi-Cola Bottling Facility. After extensive refurbishment and renovations, this current location offers more than double the overall storage capacity and three times the cold storage capacity over its predecessor.

Complete with drive-in coolers and freezers, a refrigerated loading dock, AiroCide systems to extend the life of produce, and complemented by our fleet of refrigerated trucks and vans, the East Cook Street facility has allowed us room to grow towards the future, with the continued goal of addressing hunger and lifting up our neighbors all across central and southern Illinois for years to come.