We've got some new faces around the food bank. Sam, our new Executive Director, joined the food bank in September of 2021. Then in July of 2022, we were approved for a WSDA grant allowing us the opportunity to bring on another full-time staff member as our Operations Manager: Darryl!
Our former Director, Cheryl Thompson, oversaw Sam's transition as well as the transition into our new facility, and has since taken a role on our board of directors as Treasurer. Sam hit the ground running, taking over operations from Becky Zender, who retired four months later to soak up some much deserved time with her children and grandchildren.
A bit about Sam: back in early 2021 during the height of the pandemic, Sam began volunteering at the Food Bank. But he didn't stop there... he was also volunteering with Bellingham Food Bank and Miracle Food Network to learn as much as he could
about our local food system. Sam has a degree in Agriculture and Resource Economics, which he used as a Community Economic Development Facilitator in the Peace Corps. Stationed in Timor Leste for a year until COVID, Sam partnered with a non-governmental organization to bolster their administrative capacity, teach English, and facilitate projects including the farmer-to-farmer program and a pilot for syntropic agroforestry.
A bit about Darryl: a Kendall resident for over 10 years, Darryl brings a wealth of warehouse and operations management experience. He's already found ways to relieve our constrained capacity, and improve our efforts to sustainably meet the needs of our community as demand continues to rise. We're thrilled to be able to hire locally for a full time position paying a living wage.
In closing, our tremendous gratitude to both Becky Zender for her operations management and Cheryl Thompson for her direction and oversight. We are all so grateful for all the work, passion, long days, and leadership they gave to the food bank and our community over a combined total of 13 years.