Did you know over 63,000 people in Montgomery County, Maryland experience hunger and food insecurity? Manna Food Center was founded in 1983 with the mission of eliminating hunger in the County through food distribution, education, and advocacy. Last month, they celebrated #WorldFoodDay with the grand opening of a new pantry and distribution warehouse.
Located in Silver Spring, the 8,000 SF pantry is a choice grocery store allowing people who seek food assistance to choose their products. Designed by Giant Food, the new pantry is the fourth in the County and is located in an area that has twice the rate of food insecure residents. More than 20 employees were moved to the new Silver Spring location, allowing cubicles and conference rooms in the 12,000 SF Gaithersburg distribution warehouse to be repurposed to better serve neighbors in need.
As Project Manager, MGAC was tasked with overseeing subconsultants and vendors and maintaining the project schedule and budget. The two project sites were located roughly 25 miles from one another, requiring extensive coordination with Manna to remain open for donations throughout construction. The project also faced potential setbacks to the schedule due to delayed pieces of mechanical equipment. Through the relationships the MGAC project team had at the manufacturer plant, we were able to elevate the situation to a high level which resulted in the shipment being expedited to a truck immediately. This saved the project from a severe schedule setback.
The grand opening featured a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by tours and a community block party. Prominent guests in attendance included Senator Chris Van Hollen, Delegate Lorig Charkoudian, County Executive Marc Elrich, and County Council President Nancy Navarro.