WASHINGTON (AP) — The Capital Area Food Bank is opening a new $37 million distribution center in Washington that’s the size of two football fields.

The Washington Post reports the 123,000-square-foot facility at 4900 Puerto Rico Ave. is opening Tuesday. It features a teaching kitchen, warehouse space and 13 loading docks for grocery trucks. It will also provide more office space for 100 employees.

Officials say the new center is needed to combat a “growing hunger crisis” in the Washington region. The food bank is the main supplier for more than 700 food pantries and nonprofits that help the needy.

Much of the funding for the new building comes from the district’s Office of Housing and Community Development.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)