A Lorton food pantry doubled its size this week, responding to a 60 percent rise in requests for emergency food assistance over the past two years.

The expansion will allow the pantry to move out its present space in an overflowing basement, hallway and one room of the Lorton Community Action Center headquarters, and to install refrigerators. The new building, adjacent to the main offices behind the Lorton Library, was made possible by a donation from a local family with ties to office park development along the I-95 corridor.

In the past year, LCAC has provided more than 2,500 individuals -- many of whom return regularly -- with food and clothing assistance, as well as emergency referrals. The new building is slated to open by the end of February.