Submitted by CAFB Board of Directors
Nearly 32 years ago, the Capital Area Food Bank, which had been founded in 1980 on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, was a tiny organization facing an apparently insurmountable problem: hunger in the Nation’s Capital. Food stamps had been cut, inflation had been running in the double digits and poor people faced an increasingly bleak future.
With an intrepid heart, sleeves rolled up ready to work and unburdened by either business experience, or a detectible ego, Lynn J. Brantley stepped into the role of heading the fledgling organization. Calling on the expertise and good will of others and driven by her own inner passion, she shifted the story of hunger in the Washington metropolitan area from one of largely unmet needs to the place it is today, still short of the goal of meeting all the need, but served by an organization that this year is distributing over 33 million pounds of food – half of which is fresh produce – through over 700 partner agencies to those facing hunger on a daily basis.
Steadfast in her commitment to social justice and to the community she served, Lynn took the Capital Area Food Bank to leadership within the national food bank scene. With a plain style born of a Lancaster County, PA upbringing rich with Quaker values, Lynn spoke truth to power and time after time melted the hearts and opened the pocketbooks of people willing to join her in protecting the most vulnerable among us. She also touched the souls and spirits of those she met, making those around her better and kinder because of Lynn’s own example. She truly “Let Her Life Speak!”
The Board of Directors of the Capital Area Food Bank, on the occasion of her final board meeting as President and CEO, included in the minutes its deep appreciation for the leadership that Lynn J. Brantley has provided to the organization and to each of us as human beings. We wish her the happiest retirement years, safe in the knowledge that those years will be spent serving others and brightening lives.