After years of making do with four household freezers and two household refrigerators at its food pantry on Central Avenue in Medford, the Salvation Army has purchased two new room-size cold storage units with the help of local grants.

After years of making do with four household freezers and two household refrigerators at its food pantry on Central Avenue in Medford, the Salvation Army has purchased two new room-size cold storage units with the help of local grants.

Grants of $12,200 from the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation of Roseburg and $10,000 from the West Family Foundation of Jacksonville allowed the Salvation Army to buy a 12-by-12-foot walk-in cooler and similar sized walk-in freezer.

Both cold storage units will help the Salvation Army better meet the need for food in Jackson County, according to a press release.

In fiscal year 2008-09, the Salvation Army provided 6,933 food bags to 5,261 Jackson County residents. Because of inadequate cold storage, the bags contained primarily non-perishable food items and were designed to last about three days.

The new coolers will allow clients to receive more protein, dairy, eggs and produce and allow the organization to take large donations of fresh produce, meat, eggs and dairy.

With the addition of fresh and frozen items, the non-profit estimates that the bags will contain enough food to last about five days.

The Salvation Army anticipates the expansion will be complete by spring 2010.