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Preble Street is planning an $8 million, 30,000-square-foot Food Security Hub in South Portland

A Portland-based social service nonprofit says it will build a new Food Security Hub in South Portland to serve meals to the hungry, provide workforce training and encourage collaboration of like-minded groups.

"It's about serving low-income people, culturally appropriate meals, it's shovel ready, there's a workforce development piece. We'll be doing culinary training there," says Preble Street Executive Director Mark Swann.

Swann says the 30,000-square-foot hub will will have an industrial kitchen, food processing lab and space for advocacy groups with similar missions. He says the project will expand on the organization's current mission.

"Let's establish a new way of getting people's needs met and let's plan it out to be useful for years," he says. "Because of the capacity and vision it will be serving people and helping people for decades."

The cost of the project is estimated at $8 million. The John T. Gorman Foundation has provided a $1 million gift for the project, half of which Preble Street will have to match. Swann says he's also hoping to access American Rescue Plan Act funds at the city, county or state level.

The facility is slated to be completed in 2023.