By Erica Murillo, South Kern Sol

On Thursday Morning, Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) staff, city and county leaders, Kern’s elected officials, non-profit partners, and businesses came together to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony of CAPK’s food bank expansion.

In 2018, the Food Research and Action Center report from 2016-17 released that Bakersfield is the “Hungriest City in America.” The expansion will help feed more food insecure families.

The expansion of the food bank will be a 40,000 square foot building. It will be high enough for extra storage to fit and it will triple the collection and distribution of food to the community. Traffic lines for forklifts, staging areas, and sorting areas will be taken into consideration to make it more efficient for workers to get their work done. 

CAPK is reaching its maximum capacity with storage, and the expansion is needed due to the multiple warehouses that CAPK is serving, and the expansion will help serve more food to more partnered organizations.

“We bring our special expertise to help guide this organization and to promote the dignity and self sufficiency in the community we serve,” said Fred Plane, Vice Chair. “In 2018, the food research and action center named Bakersfield the hungriest city in the United States and that’s not a good distinction for us to have.”

Plane explains that Kern County has more than 121,000 individuals who are food insecure. An expansion will help better serve the community. 

Karen Goh, Bakersfield Mayor, is excited for the project to finally break ground and she is glad to see the community take action to help better serve the hungry. 

“The German poet Heinrich Heine said you cannot feed the hungry on statistics and aren’t we blessed in a community were we don’t let the number 120,000 persons who are experiencing food insecurity be a number in our head, but instead we are a community of action, and with 150 partners and volunteers we are taking those statistics and moving them from the head to the heart in action,” said Karen Goh.

The project is expected to be done by late October of 2022.