Study into new MT Food Bank Network headquarters could take a year

Posted at 8:37 AM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 10:37:04-04

MISSOULA – The Chief Executive Officer for the Montana Food Bank Network expects it will be next year before the agency gets a better idea of options for relocating or reconfiguring its Missoula headquarters.

Missoula County commissioners approved a request from MFBN this week to submit a Community Block Grant application for money to pay for a preliminary architectural study.

The report will look at all aspects of the current warehouse and administrative center to come up with a number of options and cost estimates for either an entirely new building or ways the present site on the west side of Missoula could be better utilized.

CEO Gayle Carlson says the agency has already been analyzing its challenges for a couple of years, as it struggles with space to meet a growing demand to support food banks and pantries across Montana.

"This particular phase as I understand it will take about a year. Then we’ll have a lot of questions answered as far as, can we do anything with where we’re currently at, and what do we need into the future. Is this something that we want to take a look at doing?" Carlson said.

"They should also be able to come up with some cost estimates for us so that we know what it is we’ve got ahead of us. So we can make that very informed decision whether we want to do a capital campaign and begin moving in the direction of either new construction or renovation," she added.

Carlson says one of the concerns with a lack of warehouse space for Montana Food Bank Network is limiting the amount of deliveries and donations the agency can handle for its partner locations statewide.