Topeka Relocation Updates
Harvesters will be moving its Kansas Distribution Center from Topeka to Lawrence in 2024. To learn more about why this is happening, check out our frequently asked questions below.
About Harvesters’ new facility in Lawrence
The building in Lawrence is located at 1220 Timberedge Road in an industrial park area. The building includes 75,000 square feet of space and sits on a little more than 7 acres of land. It was built in 2001.
Harvesters will renovate the building (and add about 10,000 square feet for docks and freezer space).
Construction began in spring of 2023. The project is targeted for completion by May of 2024. We hope to move operations and be ready to open in Lawrence by early June.
Check back here for the latest news and updates! We’ll be posting what’s going on in our new building so you can take this journey with us.
How you can help
While state funds from the sale of the building will meaningfully assist with the relocation, an additional $10 million in private support is needed to complete the project. This is an expensive and unplanned move on an accelerated timeline due to evacuation deadlines set by the state. A donation of any amount will help fund this project and ensure all our neighbors are fed in Kansas.
Update Photos: October 27, 2023
Update Photos: July 20, 2023
Why is Harvesters moving its Kansas Distribution Center in Topeka?
The state of Kansas is rebuilding the I-70 Polk-Quincy Viaduct in downtown Topeka, and the new design will cut through our existing building. The state has purchased our building and several neighboring buildings for the project.
When will the move happen?
May of 2024. Until then, operations will continue as usual at our distribution center in downtown Topeka. Sign up for volunteer shifts here. For information on donating food, click here. We will provide updates as we get closer to moving on the final days to volunteer in Topeka and when we will be accepting volunteer reservations at the Lawrence facility.
Where is Harvesters moving?
After an extensive search in Topeka, we could not find a location that met our specific needs. Harvesters purchased a building in Lawrence, Kansas off of I-70 and exit 202. This location meets our specific needs to ensure we can most efficiently serve our network of partner agencies. It also allows us to move within the required timeframe and not have a disruption in service.
What are those specific needs?
Convenient highway access
At least 45,000 square feet of space, including cubic feet for warehouse racking
Proper zoning for warehouse distribution activities
Will the move impact agencies or neighbors in Topeka or Shawnee County who currently receive food from Harvesters?
No. The level of service and food provided to our partners in Topeka and Shawnee County will remain the same. We currently serve 13 Kansas counties from our Topeka facility. We may be moving our physical distribution center, but our commitment and ability to serve all 13 Kansas counties remains the same.
In fiscal year 2023, the Kansas Distribution Center distributed 13.3 million pounds of food to 13 counties in northeast Kansas. The number of staff employed at the Kansas Distribution Center is 18.
Kansas Distribution Center Impact
“I don’t know what we’d do without Harvesters,” she says. “This is a poor county with just 13,000 people.”
“A lot of us in small communities, you just can’t get out. You can’t get to the bigger towns and be able to shop because of the finances and gas money … so, when you’re able to come [to the pantry] and at least be able to make a meal for the night, you feel like at least you’ve accomplished that.”
“If they didn’t have a pantry here, I’d have to go to another town, and I don’t like driving. It helps us big time.”
“We’ve had a lot come through the pantry that have been in tears that have said if it weren’t for this, we wouldn’t have had anything. We’ve had a lot of seniors come through and say we’d never thought we’d be to this point.”