Loaves & Fishes Community Services just announced that it has acquired an approximately 30,000 square foot warehouse distribution building to serve as its new hub. Last year, Loaves & Fishes adopted a new hub and spoke model as part of its Strategic Plan objective to redesign its system of delivering food and services to families in order to serve healthier food to more families more efficiently.
The new facility at 580 Exchange Court in Aurora, is located 1.3 miles from its existing facility at 1871 High Grove Lane in Naperville. The new facility will serve as a hub, where food product will be received, stored, processed and delivered to Loaves & Fishes’ multiple spokes, including the grocery market at 1871 High Grove, satellite pantries, home deliveries and mobile markets. In addition, from the new facility, Loaves & Fishes will fulfill client online orders and pre-packed groceries. Families will now be able to choose how they obtain their groceries, adding a new dimension to its client choice model. Loaves & Fishes’ office headquarters, CARES Programs and grocery market will remain at its facility in Naperville.
The project, “Building for Lasting Impact,” is the result of several years of planning and analysis and is an important part of Loaves & Fishes’ Strategic Plan. During 2019-2020, Loaves & Fishes engaged the University of Chicago Booth Alumni Nonprofit Consultants (BANC) to conduct extensive research and analysis regarding delivery model and geographic service area.
“A key objective in our Strategic Plan is to create an innovative, scalable, adaptable, health-focused and expansive distribution model that increases access by those families in need,” said Mike Havala, President & CEO of Loaves & Fishes Community Services. “We are extremely excited about the acquisition of this additional building to serve as our new hub as it hits the mark on each one of these criteria.”
Renovation of the new hub facility will begin soon, and the facility is targeted to be fully operational in June 2021. The total cost of the project is expected to be approximately $3.1 million. The new hub facility will allow Loaves & Fishes to serve nearly triple the number of families and significantly reduce the cost to serve each family. Large drive-in coolers and freezers in the new building will enable the organization to substantially increase the amount of fresh produce, dairy and other healthy foods. Upon opening the new facility, Loaves & Fishes will be able to serve families in DuPage, Will, Kane and Kendall counties.
“It is an honor to welcome Loaves & Fishes officially to Aurora,” said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “While Loaves & Fishes has done programming in and provided services to Aurora residents, the opening of its new facility is a game changer. The addition of Loaves & Fishes to the food services tapestry of Aurora will allow more residents to access healthy foods across the city.”
To support the new initiative, Loaves & Fishes is beginning a capital campaign to fund the acquisition and renovation costs of the new building. The organization invites the community to become part of the project through naming opportunities or by purchasing “Building Blocks for Lasting Impact.” The “blocks” provide financial support and are available at several levels.
Loaves & Fishes has been serving the community for 37 years. The organization provides healthy food and impactful programs for self-sufficiency. Last year, more than 20,000 individuals were served through grocery assistance and programs such as emergency assistance. Loaves & Fishes has the highest rating possible from GuideStar and Charity Navigator. For more information, visit www.loaves-fishes.org.
Mike Havala, President & CEO