New bishops’ storehouse opens in Salt Lake City

A new 570,391-square-foot welfare facility built by the Church will help the organization respond to disasters and take care of those in need.

The Bishops’ Central Storehouse, located on 5405 West 300 South in Salt Lake City, is constructed on 35.88 acres and has the capacity to store 65,000 pallets of food and supplies.

Richard Humpherys, manager of the facility, said the building was constructed for a single purpose — “to enable the bishops of the Church to meet the needs of the poor and needy.”

A worker moves food at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
A worker moves food at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News

The massive structure replaces the previous Bishops’ Central Storehouse, located on 1600 Wallace Road, and was paid for with Church fast offering funds, which are earmarked to help those in need.

Ground was broken on the facility May 18, 2010, and construction began in July of that year. The facility, completed Oct. 7, 2011, was dedicated Thursday evening by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency.

Don J. Johnson, Director of Production and Distribution for LDS Welfare Services, likened the facility to the “hub of the wheel” of the Church’s vast welfare efforts, which include farms, processing facilities, and local bishops’ storehouses. “It makes it all work,” he said.

Felix Martinez, 73, is a 12 year employee of Deseret Transportation. He talks with the media during a tour of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Felix Martinez, 73, is a 12 year employee of Deseret Transportation. He talks with the media during a tour of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News

The facility also includes Deseret Transportation — which utilizes 43 tractors and 98 trailers and logs about 3.5 million miles per year delivering goods to some 110 Church storehouses across the United States and Canada.

Rows and rows of food and supplies fill the storehouse, which includes a bulk storage area, rack storage and 63,000 square feet of freezer and cooler space. The freezer area is maintained at 10 degrees below zero. “In addition, moisture has been taken out of the air so you don’t get ice build up,” Brother Humpherys said.

Elder Jonathan Phan, left, and Elder Richard Selman prepare sacks of goods to be handed out during the dedication of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Elder Jonathan Phan, left, and Elder Richard Selman prepare sacks of goods to be handed out during the dedication of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News

He noted that because of the way the storehouse is organized, supplies can go out to those in need at a moment’s notice.

For example, when a devastating earthquake struck Haiti two years ago, he got a phone call with a list of supplies to send to Miami that would be airlifted into the disaster zone. As he talked, he set the operation in motion. “By the time the phone call was over the trucks were gone,” Brother Humpherys said, noting that one hour later television reporters showed up wanting to tape the trucks preparing to leave. “I said, ‘I am sorry. The trucks are one hour down the road.'”

A worker moves goods at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
A worker moves goods at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News

Another example of the role of the Bishops’ Central Storehouse is the response after Hurricane Katrina struck the southern United States in 2005. The Church staged fully loaded semitrailers from Texas to South Carolina. When the storm hit New Orleans, the emergency supplies were on site within 24 hours. Another 450 semitrailers filled with food, water and other needed items were sent to the disaster zone from the Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City in the weeks after the emergency.

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Total site area of Bishops’ Central Storehouse: 35.88 Acres

Total building area: 570,391 square feet

Future expansion area: 100,000 square feet

The facility is designed to withstand a 7.0 earthquake

Total planned capacity of the facility is 65,000 pallet spaces

Matt Van loads beef chunks at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Matt Van loads beef chunks at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
A worker moves goods at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
A worker moves goods at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
The hallway to the administrative offices of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
The hallway to the administrative offices of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Cans are stacked high at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Cans are stacked high at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Richard Humphries, right, manager of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse, leads media members on a tour in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. This is the hallway to the administrative offices.
Richard Humphries, right, manager of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse, leads media members on a tour in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. This is the hallway to the administrative offices. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Richard Humphries, right, manager of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse, leads media members on a tour in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. This is the hallway to the administrative offices.
Richard Humphries, right, manager of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse, leads media members on a tour in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. This is the hallway to the administrative offices. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Kenneth Dibble labels chicken as members of the media tour the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Kenneth Dibble labels chicken as members of the media tour the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Richard Humphries, right, manager of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse, leads media members on a tour in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. This is the hallway to the administrative offices.
Richard Humphries, right, manager of the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse, leads media members on a tour in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. This is the hallway to the administrative offices. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Kenneth Dibble labels chicken at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Kenneth Dibble labels chicken at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Glen West works on a truck in the vehicle maintenance facility of the new Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Glen West works on a truck in the vehicle maintenance facility of the new Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
A worker moves goods at the new Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
A worker moves goods at the new Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Don Crandall works in the refrigerated staging area of the new Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Don Crandall works in the refrigerated staging area of the new Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
A sign on a truck in the vehicle maintenance facility of the new Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
A sign on a truck in the vehicle maintenance facility of the new Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Glen West works on a truck in the vehicle maintenance facility of the new Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Glen West works on a truck in the vehicle maintenance facility of the new Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Members of the media tour the vehicle maintenance facility of the new Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Members of the media tour the vehicle maintenance facility of the new Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Members of the media tour the vehicle maintenance facility of the new Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Members of the media tour the vehicle maintenance facility of the new Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Members of the media tour the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. This is the vehicle maintenance facility.
Members of the media tour the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. This is the vehicle maintenance facility. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Felix Martinez, 73, is a 12 year employee of Deseret Transportation. He works at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Felix Martinez, 73, is a 12 year employee of Deseret Transportation. He works at the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Members of the media tour the new Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. This is the tire storage building.
Members of the media tour the new Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. This is the tire storage building. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Tire storage building at the new Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Tire storage building at the new Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Members of the media tour the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Members of the media tour the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Members of the construction project team signed a beam a the new Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012.
Members of the construction project team signed a beam a the new Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News
Media tours the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops' Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Jan. 26, 2012.
Media tours the new 570,000 square foot Utah Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City, Jan. 26, 2012. Credit: Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News