Kirksey Architecture’s 37th annual tree planting effort took place at the site of Houston Food Bank’s future second facility in northwest Houston.

The Kirksey-designed project is currently underway and now home to 350 new trees. 

Kirksey plants trees each year in honor of their clients to say thank you. The firm’s commitment to the environment is a foundational principle that guides Kirksey’s business practices and ethos. “We’ve planted over 12,000 trees in the Houston area and been able to see them take shape over the last 37 years,” said Janis Brackett, Executive Vice President, and Director of Community Projects, “We’re excited to see these trees grow with this amazing new Houston Food Bank facility.” 

Houston Food Bank opened its doors in 1982 and serves a million people across 18 counties in southeast Texas, aiming to provide food, essentials, programs, and other services that facilitate long-term stability to those they serve. As the Houston Food Bank has expanded their operations and continues to serve more communities, the need for additional space and capacity resulted in plans for a new collaborative facility. The second facility will sit on a 53-acre parcel of land at TX-249 and Ella Boulevard, which was donated to HFB by Chevron last year. The Houston Food Bank expects the new facility to double distribution efforts to around 300 million pounds a year by 2035 with 70% of that being fresh produce. The organization also plans to provide home delivery to 200 people a day by 2028, and access to 60 pounds of food per student with onsite classes available to help people improve skillsets and secure jobs. Additional outcomes of the expansion include:  

  • When both Houston Food Bank buildings are fully operational, the value of the food distributed to the Houston community will be $500 million. 
  • Provide curbside pickup to 400 families per day by 2028. 
  • Provide access to 60 pounds. of nutritious food per person to patients of an onsite clinic to improve their health outcomes. 
  • Double the number of unduplicated volunteers from 85,000 (pre-pandemic high) to 170,000 between the new facility and the Portwall location. 
  • Create a one-stop destination by co-locating 6 – 10 partner organizations for integrated services. 

During interactive design sessions, the Kirksey team worked with Houston Food Bank leadership, community leaders, and volunteers to identify the group’s top priorities and goals for the new building. Above all, the group wants the building to be a vital part of the community, well-integrated and accessible. In addition to being a well-equipped and modern robotics warehouse and distribution center, the new facility will include outdoor education spaces, urban farming and gardens, and wellness and fitness amenities - all with a focus on sustainability and resilience. The facility features a YMCA and a community medical clinic to achieve the community integration goal. The project will also includes an emergency response area to serve the surrounding region further. 

Tellepsen is the general contractor, and the project is being managed by Project Controls. Both companies have been advocates for the tree planting and part of the planning process. Tellepsen will water and help maintain the trees while the project is under construction. Houston Food Bank, Kirksey Architecture, and the entire project team are committed to creating a beautiful, welcoming facility and site that enriches the neighborhood and allows Houston Food Bank to continue their mission of helping people achieve long-term stability and combat food insecurity. Learn more about the Houston Food Bank and their mission here.