Second Harvest's new warehouse built by volunteers' helping hands

PASCO, Wash.-- Second Harvest is finishing up work on their brand new fourteen thousand square foot warehouse that will open this Friday.

But the facility wouldn't be standing without the help of dozens of volunteer workers who built it from the ground up.

This Second Harvest food warehouse was built entirely by volunteers. Every nut and bolt was put in place by workers who donated their time. Over half of the building's 2.7 million dollar price tag was covered by donated labor and supplies.

Julie Miller, Second Harvest's Regional Manager, says they couldn't have built the warehouse without the volunteers.

"Without the volunteer help we would not have been able to build this building. We just would not have been able to do it. It probably would've taken years before we could get this building up," says Miller.

Instead the building will open it's doors this week after only three and a half months of construction. That's fast. It's all thanks to a sizable donation of time from workers who did all the work for free. But the iron worker's foreman, Ken Rader, says it's worth it for the long term benefit.

"Three and a half months seems like a long time but actually in reality the benefit all the people in this entire community are going to get over the years is huge," says Rader.

Ken Rader helped build this new Second Harvest facility, column by column, and today this very last iron column was raised.

Ken has worked full time on the project this summer. He recruited workers for the job and was surprised by the response when fifty iron workers stepped up to volunteer.

"When they asked me to come out here it's like homecoming. We've had guys I've worked for for the last twenty, thirty years, have come out here and helped us," says Rader.

Their work created a facility that can better serve the fifty-five food banks in the Mid-Columbia region.

The new warehouse has more storage space... And bigger refrigeration coolers that will allow them to keep things like produce and meat fresher and for longer.

Ken is eager to see the fruits of the volunteers' labor that's helping to feed the people who really need help.

"The closer you get to the end and opening the doors, you see the food coming in, the people are getting ready to receive it, it gets you wound up," says Rader.

If you'd like to see the building for yourself, they're holding an open house from 2pm to 6pm on Friday.

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