30 Things Our Board Chair Loves About the Capital Area Food Bank - Capital Area Food Bank
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30 Things Our Board Chair Loves About the Capital Area Food Bank

By Greg Ten Eyck March 22, 2010

In honor of the CAFB’s 30th Anniversary, I’ve come up with the 30 things I love about the food bank:

  1. Our dedicated staff.  A lot of people work for a paycheck.  These people work for a cause, and one they truly believe in.
  2. Our board of directors.  I am often amazed at the time, effort and energy these folks spend on assisting with the work of the food bank, and the personal commitment they make to the success of our mission. 
  3. Our mission, which is to feed those who suffer from hunger in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area by acquiring food and distributing it through our network of member agencies; and to educate, empower and enlighten the community about the issues of hunger and nutrition.
  4. That our cause is hunger, a basic human need, not a want or a luxury.
  5. Our regional approach to hunger, addressing not only DC but also MD and VA.
  6. We support 700 feeding organizations, many of which couldn’t survive without the food bank.
  7. That the food bank brings together fierce grocery competitors like Safeway, Giant, Harris Teeter, Shoppers and Whole Foods.  All these companies support the food bank and all are represented on our board. 
  8. The food bank was founded on faith-based principles.  In fact, it’s based on the practice of gleaning, which is a Biblical concept.
  9. That we do more than just provide food, but as our mission states, we educate, empower and enlighten the community on the issue of hunger.
  10. Our volunteers.  Last year we had over 12,000 people volunteer at the food bank.
  11. We focus not only on providing food, but nutritious food. 
  12. Fresh produce.  Of the 25 million pounds of food we distributed last year, nearly 7 million pounds were fresh produce.
  13. Much of the fresh produce is from the Claggett Farm in Maryland, where we work with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to bring sustainably grown fresh produce to underserved communities
  14. Broad base of our support.  It comes from companies and individuals, many of whom are sending small amounts to us weekly or monthly.
  15. Despite the dire economy, people have recognized the need and our contributions have actually increased as the economy has become worse.  It restores my faith in human generosity.
  16. That we were named the best food bank operating on the east coast by Feeding America, the national organization for over 200 food banks.
  17. We have a warehouse in Northern Virginia to better meet the needs of our agencies there. 
  18. Blue Jeans Ball, our annual fundraising event.
  19. The Bountiful Harvest Breakfast.
  20. That our mission is to feed people, but our goal is that we will no longer be needed.
  21. That three US Presidents visited the food bank – both Presidents Bush and Bill Clinton — AND one of our recent volunteers, Michelle Obama, promised to bring her husband next time she comes.
  22. Hunger is a bi-partisan, non-partisan issue.  Republicans, Democrats and Independents agree.  Food banks are an indispensable part of the community and need our support.
  23. That our Capital Campaign that has been, although frustrating at times, ultimately uplifting because of the support we’ve received.  Fingers crossed we may be breaking ground again, this time for real, in a couple of months.
  24. The support of Don Graham, one of our Capital Campaign co-chairs, and the support of the Graham Foundation, as well as the Washington Post
  25. The support of Bill Marriott, one of our Capital Campaign co-chairs, and the wonderful support of the Marriott Foundation and Marriott Hotels.
  26. The support of Abe Pollin, one of our Capital Campaign co chairs, and a very active supporter of the food bank.  He loved us, and we loved him.  He will be missed.
  27. Despite the limitations and challenges of our small, out-dated, one-dock warehouse and cramped office conditions, our staff still gets it done every day!
  28. We fill a need in this city and region that could not be replaced if we did not exist.
  29. That the food bank has survived for 30 years!
  30. Last but not least, I love Lynn Brantley.