Food bank

Marie Jachino, the executive director of the Elk Grove Food Bank Services, with an illustration of her nonprofit's future home. 

The Elk Grove Food Bank Services staff announced on Oct. 16 they will have a new home built at 9888 Kent St., just north of its current facility at Dino Drive. They want to move into this location next fall.

Plans for the project call for the construction of a 9,900-square-foot warehouse. The property currently has a 4,300-square-foot office building.

Marie Jachino, executive director of the food bank, told the Citizen that she is excited about the future site.

“I am over the moon,” she said. “I think we’ve got the most beautiful building, the most beautiful location. I am confident with our contractor, subcontractor, which is Jackson Properties. I think they’re a good team. We’ve been working well together for the past four months.”

The property was placed in the food bank’s name on the evening of Oct. 14.

A groundbreaking for the project is currently planned for next January, Jachino noted. She said that it could be completed as early as September, weather permitting. The future facility will be more than double the size of the nonprofit’s Dino Drive site.

“I think that’s only going to increase what we’re going to be able to do for our community,” Jachino said. “And the need keeps growing and I don’t think that’s going to change. I think the food bank is going to be used by a lot (more) people.”

Jachino referred to Greg Mason of Jackson Properties as her mentor on the project.

The securing of a new site for the food bank ended a long search for the food bank to find a new location to house its services.

That hunt began last year after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signed the $214.8 billion state budget, which included $4 million slated for a permanent home for the food bank. Assembly Member Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, was instrumental in helping the food bank obtain those funds.

“It was a gift (Cooper) gave this community by giving the food bank $4 million,” Jachino said. “He is my forever hero. I already have a room named after Jim – one of our conference rooms.”

The food bank’s acquisition of a new location was a timely endeavor, considering that this nonprofit had until the end of June 2021 to spend the $4 million or forfeit those funds, Jachino noted.

“I still have to get an amendment for the state funding, because it was supposed to have been spent by June 2021,” she said. “But I think because of the COVID(-19) and the delay in actually receiving the funding, I’m fairly certain we won’t have a problem with getting an amendment.”

Jachino added that the project will cost more than the $4 million that the food bank received from the state.

“We’re going to be looking for an additional $200,000 to $300,000 to complete the project,” she said. “I am still having to ask for more money. I was not expecting to have to do that.”

In addition to her gratitude to Cooper, Jachino also thanked City Manager Jason Behrmann for his assistance.

“He’s asked his planning team to work with us and try and get the design review done as soon as possible,” she said. “He’s been really helpful in trying to get everything moved along for us.”

Jachino also thanked her board of directors for trusting her to “take on the project.”

“There were times when I wasn’t sure (if the project could become a reality), and I’m grateful to them for believing that I could (do it), and I did it,” she said.