Last year alone volunteer hours at Georgia Mountain Food Bank were equivalent to six full-time employees. With a staff of 10, this more than doubles the capacity of the Food Bank to serve its five-county service area of Hall, Forsyth, Lumpkin, Dawson and Union counties.

“All our volunteers are vital to our organization’s ability to efficiently and effectively serve the food insecure in our area,” said Kay Blackstock, executive director at GMFB. “The volunteer leadership provided by the board of directors is no exception. While they may not be sorting food in the warehouse or delivering food to those in need, their guidance and expertise is what continues to create a sustainable, mission-focused organization that is growing and thriving.”

In the past year, the board leadership worked to develop the corporate partnership program of which Cargill Cares recently became a “Stocking our Shelves” partner, a three-year strategic plan to guide the ongoing development and strategy of the organization, as well as hosted the most successful Empty Bowl Fundraiser in the more than eight year history of the event.

According to a June report by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), Georgia ranks as the seventh most food insecure state in the country. More than 47,000 people in GMFB’s service area are considered food insecure.

“Our board of directors is built out of key leaders in this community who can bring their expertise and guidance to the table,” said Rich White, community volunteer and board chair at GMFB. “People don’t realize how big the Food Bank operation really is. It is quite a large business and takes $1.2 million each year to operate. From balancing the budget, providing advice to enhance operating efficiencies, reviewing new programs and initiatives, to identifying new food sources and funding partners, our board plays an integral role.”

The 2016-2017 board of directors:
Rich White, Chair, Retired Bank Executive
Brett Fowler, Vice Chair, Life, Health, & Benefits Agent – Turner, Wood & Smith
Kristi Griffin, Treasurer, Audit Partner – Bates Carter & Co.
Kelley Robertson, Secretary, Assistant District Attorney – Hall Co. District Attorney’s Office
Ron Burns, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Director of Partner Relations
Ron Castleman, V.P. of Procurement & Marketing – PFS/PFG Milton’s
Susan Chambers, Community Volunteer
Dr. Virginia Dick, Deputy Epidemiology Program Director & Chief Evaluator Council of State & Territorial Epidemiologist
Ruth Goode, Executive Director – United Way of Forsyth County
Dale Green, President – LifePath Agency, Inc.
Chris Hardman, Georgia Restaurant Association – Membership Development Executive
Brian Hughs, Sales Associate – The Simpson Company
Sherrie Jones, HR Administrator/Gainesville Times
Kathleen Owen, Accounting & HR Specialist/Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network
Dr. Andrew Pearl, Director of Academic Engagement/University of North Georgia
Clay Pilgrim, Audit Partner – Rushton & Company
Richard Riley, Marketing – Creekside Consulting
Lydia Sartain, Attorney – Stewart, Melvin & Frost
Nicki Vaughan, Chief Assistant Public Defender-NE Circuit Public Defender’s Office
Chris Walker, Partner – Whelchel, Dunlap, Jarrard & Walker, L.L.P.
Timothy Woods, Director of Marketing – PFG/PFG Milton’s

“I am looking forward to another tremendous year working with our board of directors. Their heart, passion and expertise are just the kind of influence our organization needs to keep us mission focused and driving in the right direction to help feed as many hungry people as possible, ” Blackstock concluded.

Don’t forget to save the date for GMFB’s only official fundraiser, Empty Bowl Luncheon, on September 27.  For more information GMFB, Empty Bowl or how can be involved call 770-534-4111 or visit