Loaves and Fishes

A 40-foot shipping container converted into a freezer is moved into place at Working Landscapes’ processing site in Warrenton.

Warrenton nonprofit Working Landscapes has converted a 40-foot shipping container into a freezer for Loaves & Fishes Ministries, Inc. food pantry of Warrenton.

Gabe Cumming, co-founder/associate director of Working Landscapes, said that the project was made possible through a grant from Cardinal Innovations.

He noted that Working Landscapes has partnered with the local food pantry to provide assistance throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit has been purchasing products from local farmers to donate to the food pantry. On Main Southern Eatery & Venue has prepared family meals using area farm products for use at school feeding sites and at the food pantry.

Cumming said that Loaves & Fishes faced a problem of not having enough cold storage space for all of the food it received from such sources as the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“They were in the position that they could have to refuse donations,” he said.

Converting the storage container now allows the food pantry to have 40 feet of additional storage space for food shipments, Cumming said. The freezer is housed on the site of Working Landscapes’ processing facility on Franklin Street in Warrenton.

Denise Swanner, co-founder of Working Landscapes, said that the food pantry had been using chest freezers.

“We couldn’t store enough meat for a whole month,” she said.

The 40-foot freezer unit will allow Loaves & Fishes to receive more meat so that the food pantry can extend its food giveaway time to the end of a month.

“As long as meat and frozen products are available, we can receive it,” Swanner said.

Loaves & Fishes picks up food from the freezer at the Working Landscapes processing site as needed.

“We’re so appreciative to Working Landscapes to provide extra frozen food room,” Swanner said.