Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina has been focused on helping provide food-insecure individuals and other at-risk populations with resources they need to survive. To continue that mission, the nonprofit needed a financial partner willing to help it grow with its ambitions. It found Truist.
Second Harvest established itself in 1981 as a resource to help feed individuals who are food-insecure. Local nonprofit agencies can visit the Second Harvest warehouse and collect food and household supplies to distribute to people in their communities. While Second Harvest’s main function is distribution to emergency pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, low-income day cares, and senior programs, the organization also runs its own programs. These services, such as backpack programs and mobile food pantries, tackle needs for specific populations such as seniors, at-risk children, and even pets. Since 2004, Second Harvest has grown the amount of food and household items distributed annually to 70 million pounds as of fiscal year 2019 – 20.1
As Second Harvest’s many programs developed, it needed to double its square footage to allow for better delivery access and more fresh-food storage space. Truist had previously supported Second Harvest’s special events and fundraisers, so when it came time to expand, the partnership just made sense. The bank stepped in to help secure an incentive through the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, which provides efficient financing for eligible businesses in distressed areas. “[Truist] stuck it out with us and made it clear from the beginning that they wanted to be our partner in building this expansion,” says Kay Carter, CEO of Second Harvest.
Truist Community Capital assisted with structuring the NMTC, and Treasury and Payment Services helped set up accounts to facilitate the process. Meanwhile, Second Harvest needed money for construction upfront, but its funds were in capital pledges that came in over a period of time. Truist advanced a loan to bridge the gap at a favorable rate as pledges became available. “I have found Truist to be a wonderful partner. They couldn’t be more supportive. They couldn’t be more helpful,” says Carter.
The facility expansion allowed Second Harvest to essentially double in size: warehousing space, shopping floor space, cooler and freezer capacity, and recycling capabilities are all included in the new space. The number of loading docks will increase from one to four, improving efficiency and saving time for staff. As a result, Second Harvest can continue fulfilling its mission to make more goods available to those in need.