Cooler Campaign: Progess Update

First day of construction for our new cooler!

First day of construction for our new cooler!

Have you heard about our Cooler Campaign? We are in the process of building a 1,000 square foot cooler and freezer space that will allow us to triple the amount of local food we are able to deliver to local schools, restaurants, hospitals, independent grocery stores, and other businesses.

The fundraising campaign is off to a great start. Our goal is to raise $200k and, so far, we secured $150k through grant funding and an additional $20k from community members. We are closing in on the remaining $30k and are looking to the community to fill the gap. A huge THANK YOU is certainly in order.

As for the cooler—there is a lot of noise, the sweet sound of progress, from the space adjacent to our offices. The cooler box is built, the refrigeration units are installed. Most of the electrical is complete and the whole unit still needs to be tested. The floors are as good as new—they were ground to remove chipped paint, flattened and repaired, and then densified and sealed for protection and long life.

McKenna Hayes, our Operations Manager, is excited about the motion detector high efficiency LEDs lights that are now installed—making her job much easier. A new electric sliding door will be installed to make it easy to go in and out—as well as a roll up door for the exterior. We plan to add innovative remote entry for farms and others to drop or pick up product after hours with a full audit trail.

Our fire notifiers our installed, but we’re still waiting on sprinklers. Really? Sprinklers in a freezer? Frozen food is flammable? Call the fire marshall! Just kidding! Safety for our staff, the food, and neighbors at the BDCC Business Park is a top priority.

We are so excited for the construction to be complete, but the project will certainly not be over. We will have to move our inventory into the new space and develop new delivery, receiving, and safety procedures to ensure that we can get the food to community members in the same reliable fashion we have been.

Looking to learn more about or support the project? Contact us today!

Food Connects to Build New Cooler and Freezer

In November of 2018, Food Connects moved to a new facility at the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation’s (BDCC) Business Park. This new space offers many benefits—access to a loading dock for our fleet, increased office and storage space, and most importantly, room to grow. 

Room to grow is essential to our future as we work towards a centralized facility with adequate storage capacity for all our frozen, refrigerated, and dry product. Currently, we’re only able to house smaller freezer units and dry storage under our roof. As we worked to utilize the current space to maximum capacity, dreaming up designs and wishlists, there was a fortuitous turn of events—we are now leasing our office space as well as the space adjacent to ours. 

What does this mean for Food Connects and our Food Hub? Well, we’ve been hard at work on the design, fundraising, and operational implementation of a 1,000 square foot freezer and cooler space! 

Richard secured grant funding for us from High Meadows Fund, Sandy River Charitable Foundation, and the You Have Our Trust Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. These grants provide partial funding for the layout design and construction of the cooler space by ARC Mechanical, coordinated by Alex and McKenna.  To raise the remaining funds to pay for the construction, Laura created and is implementing a campaign plan—and we need your help!

We are incredibly excited about what this means for the future of our Food Hub. The new 1,000 square foot cooler and freezer space give us three times more storage capacity. This means that we can increase the number of producers and products we carry, increasing the amount of local food we are able to provide to our community. Operational efficiencies will dramatically increase with our loading docks, offices, and storage space all under one roof—increasing ease of access for drop-offs and pick-ups. And, we hope, that this will aid in our ability to service more producers and consumers in the Upper Valley.

Now we are at an impasse—we are $150,000 into our goal of $200,000 thanks to grant funding and corporate donations. We need to start construction and are still $50,000 away from our goal—and need your help, our community’s help, to get there. We are so close to our goal and thrilled to have the support of so many community partners already.

If you would like to know more about our campaign, please be sure to check our expansion page on our website. We will provide up to date information as often as possible.

And please, consider making a charitable, tax-deductible donation to our Cooler Campaign to make our dream a reality!