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 case workers 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 that there was a need for a food bank. On November 4th, 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.
Reverend Dr. Jimmy C. Elder Jr. formally of Trinity Baptist Church, 1990-1991 Man of the year, civic leader, and co-founder of the food bank was the organizations spokesman and volunteered as co-director until 1992.
Henry Van Every Platter Jr., Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII, retired textile executive and enthusiastic participant in local civic and community affairs played an instrumental role in establishing the food bank. Mr. Platter organized the business aspect of the organization and volunteered as co-director until 1999.
Van said, "We're going to drive really fast".
Philip Joseph Walsh, Retired U.S. Air Force Major, Deacon of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was operations manager and handled the day-to-day operations and volunteered from 1985 until 1997.
Directors & Operations Managers
Andrew Clarence Jordan, Retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant and Civic Leader, began volunteering in 1990 and later became Executive Director of the food bank in 1999 after Van Platter's retirement. Andy volunteered until his passing in 2013.
Farris Gregory volunteered as head of operations from 1999 until February 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 St SE and 3rd St SE. This 1,044 square feet warehouse was rented from Nevada & G.G. McRae for $50 per month $3,042.21 out of the $4,096.00 collected was used for the startup phase. $2,596 came from donations, and $1,500 from an interest-free loan from the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia 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?
The third and current location of the food bank is 309 3rd St. SE. Destiny Industries purchased and donated this quarter acre lot for $5,988.64. The building was purchased from Adel Steel Buildings and cost $21,000. Destiny also supplied building materials for the office space. Originally 1,800 square feet, the building has been expanded twice and is now 3,416 square feet. This location has operated from July 31st, 1986 to the present day.
March 2022, the the food bank was awarded a grant for a new facility. The new site will be next to the former Robinson Bros. garage on 3rd St NE, and is in the design stage. The facility is tentatively scheduled to open Nov. 2023. This will be the food bank's fourth location.