About Us

WE ARE A NON PROFIT organization
The Colquitt County Food Bank is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization, 100% volunteer based and community supported.
Our Vision:

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.

Our Mission:

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.

Who we are

our history
How it all began...

A couple of DFACS 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, 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. 40 years later, continuous operation continues to this day.


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, he was the organization's spokesman and volunteered as co-director until 1992.
Trinity Baptist helped a needy family last year while the plans for the food bank were in the beginning stages. Last year we adapted a family, this year we adopted a community.

- Jimmy Elder
Jimmy Elder
Rev. Dr. Jimmy C. Elder Jr.
Van Platter
Henry Van Every Platter Jr.

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.
A story of when a large batch of refrigerated items was being donated, but we didn't have a refrigerated truck. Jack jokingly asked, "What are we going to do?"

Van said, "We're going to drive really fast".

- Jack Short
Philip Joseph Walsh, a retired U.S. Air Force Major and Deacon of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, was operations manager, handled the day-to-day operations, and volunteered from 1985 until 1997.
Phil Walsh put in more man-hours than anyone could imagine.

- Jimmy Elder
Philip Walsh
Philip Joseph Walsh
Operations Manager

Directors & Operations Managers

Andy Jordan
Andy Jordan
Executive Director
Andrew Clarence Jordan, a 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.
Dad loved this community, He loved what he did at the food bank. Nobody in Colquitt County goes hungry if we know about it - food bank motto.

- Creg Jordan

Farris Lynwood Gregory volunteered as head of operations from 1999 until his passing in March 2016.

Farris was the overall operations manager. He came in everyday and took care of things in the warehouse.

-  Andrew Christensen
Ferris Gregory
Farris Lynwood Gregory
Operations Manager
Andrew Christensen
Andrew Christensen
Executive Director

Andrew Christensen, a retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, became 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. When Andy Jordan, then the Executive Director, passed away in July 2013, Andrew was appointed by the board of directors to become the new Executive Director August 2013. Andrew served until he retired on February 13th, 2019.

Andrew worked hard to keep the tradition of the food bank intact. He represented the food bank with grace and made it a place people want to give and volunteer.

- Laura Keith

First Location

The initial days of the food bank was located 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.

In the beginning, we had to find a place to store food and operate some form of food bank. It was more or less a "give a bag of food" operation at that time.

- Rev. Jimmy Elder
Vereen Hospital / Governmental Building
Site of initial food bank
Colquitt County Governmental Building

Second Location

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.

As shown in the first photo below, the warehouse was in disrepair, and renovations took place from June through September 1983. The second photo shows the interior after remodeling with new flooring, shelves, and paint. The last photo is dated June 24th, 1983, shows the Colquitt Food Bank sign donated by Coca-Cola being installed by Coca-Cola employees.
Before remodel
 Warehouse Interior
After remodel
After Remodeling
Installing new sign
Sign Installation
The first photo below is of the original ledger kept by Van Platter and lists all the expenses from the startup phase, March 1983 through September 1983. The second photo is of the warehouse during the mid-1980s. Lastly, a December 14th, 1983 photo shows the CCHS DECA club helping resupply the food bank with oranges and other food items.
Original Ledger
Site #2
Food Bank Mid 80s
DECA Donation
Unloading Oranges 
The property was sold May 1984 to Denny Gore, who continued the leasing until terminating the lease February 1986. The food bank was forced to find a new location.

Did you know the first week of operation of this location, the food bank provided food for 50 people?

Third Location

3rd Location Food Bank
Colquitt County Food Bank
Building Expansion
Expansion in 1987
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 for $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.

Future location

Foodbank plan
New building design
In March 2022, 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.  This will be the food bank's fourth location.
New food bank site
Site of new food bank