We believe the root causes of hunger must be addressed to realize our long-term goal of eliminating hunger. We believe collaboration and partnerships - internally and externally - are essential to fulfilling our mission. We recognize the dignity of all people and believe food is an essential right.
Eliminate hunger in Colquitt County by providing residents in need with programs that provide food, promote the value of nutrition, increase self-sufficiency, and instill hope.
A couple of DFCS caseworkers were heard discussing a fund-raiser to buy groceries for a family in need. This led to a discussion between Van Platter and Jimmy Elder about the need for a food bank. On November 4, 1982, a meeting with 25 representatives from nine churches and workers from several service organizations, inspired by similar ideas shared by Van Platter of St. John's Episcopal Church and the Rev. Jimmy Elder of Trinity Baptist Church, convened at Trinity Baptist Church to discuss the feasibility of starting a food bank. On January 11th, 1983, a second meeting was held to create a preliminary outline for the organization, which included a board of directors and committees for seeking volunteers, funding, and warehouse space. Articles of incorporation and bylaws were drawn up, and then tax-exempt non-profit status from the IRS was obtained. Thirty-nine years later, continuous operation continues to this day.
Van said, "We're going to drive really fast".
Directors & Operations Managers
Farris Lynwood Gregory volunteered as head of operations from 1999 until his passing in March 2016.
Andrew Christensen, a retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, got involved because of his wife, Suzanne, who coordinated the volunteers from First Presbyterian Church. She needed someone for the Tuesday shift, and he agreed to volunteer. Shortly after, he was asked to become the Tuesday day manager and also assisted with administrative duties. When Andy Jordan, then the Executive Director, passed away in July 2013, Andrew was appointed by the board of directors to be the new Executive Director in August 2013. Andrew served until he retired on February 13th, 2019.
The initial days of the food bank were in a room at the former Vereen Memorial Hospital / Colquitt County Governmental Building. This location was in operation from December 1982 through September 1983 and operated as a simple food pantry until the old former Georgia Northern Railway warehouse was secured.
The second site of the Colquitt Food Bank was an abandoned Georgia Northern Railway warehouse, which was located between 2nd Street SE and 3rd Street SE. This 1,044 square-foot warehouse was rented from Nevada and G.G. McRae for $50 per month. Initial donations totaled $4,096.00, of which $3,042.21 was used for the startup phase. $2,596 came from donations, and $1,500 came from an interest-free loan from the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, which was paid back quarterly over two years.
Did you know the first week of operation of this location, the food bank provided food for 50 people?