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
This section is a work in progress...
How it all began...


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.

Founders

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.

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 Elder
Co-founder
Van Platter
Van Platter
Co-founder


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, 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.

Phil Walsh put in more man-hours than anyone could imagine.

- Jimmy Elder
Philip Walsh
Phil Walsh
Operations Manager

Directors & Operations Managers

Andy Jordan
Andy Jordan
Executive Director

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.

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 Gregory volunteered as head of operations from 1999 until February 2016.

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


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

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.

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 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.

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 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. 

As shown in the first photo below the warehouse was in disrepair and renovations took place from June through September 1983. The next photo shows the interior after remodeling. New flooring, shelves and paint. The last photo dated June 24th, 1983 of 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 next photo is of the warehouse during the mid 1980s. Lastly a December 14th, 1983 photo of CCHS DECA club help resupply the food bank with Oranges and other food items.

Ledger
Original Ledger
Site #2
Food Bank Mid 80s
DECA Donation
Unloading Oranges 
The property was sold May 1984 to Denny Gore, who continued the lease until February 1986 when the lease was terminated. The food bank would have to relocate.


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 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. 

Future location

New Site Design
Preliminary Site Design

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.

Site of new food bank
Site of new food bank