PASCO -- The Second Harvest branch in Pasco is adding 26,000 square feet of warehouse space to its distribution center on Burlington Loop.
Construction recently got under way and is expected to be finished this summer.
The added dry storage space will help Second Harvest keep pace with the growing demand for food, said Jean Tucker, development manager.
The local Second Harvest provides food to about 55 food banks and food programs in Benton, Franklin, Yakima, Klickitat, Kittitas and Walla Walla counties.
Last year, it distributed 5.5 million pounds.
A $3 million state capital grant is covering the warehouse expansion, which will "provide the final piece of infrastructure that will help us increase the amount of free food we distribute in southcentral and southeastern Washington to more than 9 million pounds annually by 2018," Tucker said.
Second Harvest's existing 14,000-square-foot facility opened in 2012. Valued at $2.9 million, it largely was paid for through volunteer labor and in-kind donations.
The Kennewick-based Industrial Constructors Inc., is the contractor for the expansion.
Tucker said Second Harvest receives food donations from sources such as farmers, grocery stores, food drives and the Fields of Grace ministry. Volunteers help repackage and distribute the food, and "we're able to leverage our resources so that for every dollar donated, we're able to provide 6 pounds of food, or five meals, for hungry families," she said.
For more information, go to www.2-harvest.org/tricities or call 545-0787.