It seems like just yesterday we were all standing on an empty plot of land to break ground for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin's new facility in Little Chute.
And now just a mere 6 months later, a beautiful, new 40,000 square foot facility is up and open to better serve the needs of the community.
I got to the facility a little early for the VIP reception tonight and it's really something to behold - a demonstration kitchen, clean room, banks of coolers and freezers to better hold fresh product, and aisles and aisles of rack space.
One thing was noticeably absent - the smell of ripening bananas.
I've been to a lot of food banks in my career and they all smell of the ethleyne gas that comes off of ripening fruit. And since the fragrance is strongest in bananas, all food banks (and fresh food warehouses for that matter) sort of smell like bananas. At this point, it sort of gives me a warm sense of comfort, like a home away from home.
The Little Chute facility smelled still smelled like fresh paint.
But it won't for long.
Once the work of storing and distributing food to our friends and neighbors in Northeast Wisconsin begins in earnest, that smell of fresh paint will slowly disappear and be replaced with that familiar smell of fighting hunger.