The Greater Berks Food Bank is experiencing a bit of deja vu.
Nearly 19 years after a lack of warehouse space forced the food bank's relocation from cramped quarters in Reading to an all-new building in Muhlenberg Township, the agency is again preparing for another move to an even larger facility.
The plan is for the food bank to purchase and renovate the Ran Floor Distributors building at 117 Morgan Drive in Spring Township, Doug Long, the agency's manager of marketing and development, announced Tuesday.
The food bank expects to finalize the deal by the end of April, paving the way for three to four months of renovations and repairs to the 48,000-square-foot building, which will provide more space for storage of fresh and frozen foods, Long said.
In contrast, the current warehouse on Tuckerton Road in Muhlenberg Township has only about 21,000 square-feet of space, which was more than enough to serve the food bank's needs when it moved there in August 1995.
At the time, however, the food bank distributed food to only 88 charitable agencies, which included food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. That network has since grown to include more than 280 agencies throughout Berks, Schuylkill and western Montgomery counties.
The purchase of the new building will be paid for through the sale of the current facility, money set aside by the food bank's board of directors and public fundraising efforts, Long said.