Palm Beach County Food Bank Fills Two Key Leadership Positions
New CEO and development director named to lead big changes at nonprofit
Boca Raton, FL – Following a nearly nine-month national search for a new CEO, the board of directors for the Palm Beach County Food Bank has named Jamie A. Kendall to lead the local nonprofit focused on ending hunger in Palm Beach County. In addition, long-time fundraising professional Ellen Vaughan has been appointed as director of development and philanthropy. The two assume their new roles at a time of exciting activity for the Food Bank, as the organization is moving to a new, fully-funded warehouse and distribution facility following a ribbon-cutting ceremony in mid-March – doubling its capacity to serve the community.
The Palm Beach County Food Bank procures food from grocery stores, farmers, food distributors, wholesalers and other sources and provides it to almost 200 local community partners, including food pantries, soup kitchens and residential housing programs. Palm Beach County Food Bank programs reach families, children and seniors, and connect those in need to available benefits and resources. Partner agencies distribute the products received, including culturally appropriate food and necessities like paper towels and diapers. This process ensures families have access to food when they need it most.
“Thanks to experienced and committed interim leadership, the Palm Beach County Food Bank is well poised to continue to meet the unprecedented food insecurity needs that COVID-19 has created in our community,” said Marti LaTour, chairman, board of directors. “With the addition of Jamie and Ellen, we add great depth of knowledge to our leadership team. While the need for our services has never been greater, we are also in an exciting growth phase to meet that need, thanks to incredible generosity from our community. I know the amazing staff at the Food Bank will continue to do great things under their leadership.”
Historically, the Palm Beach County Food Bank provided access to nutritious food for more than 200,000 hungry Palm Beach County residents every month. Since COVID-19 disrupted the county’s economy, the demand for the Food Bank’s services has tripled. While pre-COVID 19 distributions averaged close to 5 million pounds per year, the current facility is now distributing close to 1.5 million pounds of food per month. LaTour says the new location and new leadership offers the nonprofit the ability to continue to meet the increased demand from Palm Beach County neighbors who find themselves needing access to food for their families.
A new resident of Boynton Beach, Kendall moved to Palm Beach County after serving for 10 years as chief operating officer for America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia – a nonprofit focused on ending hunger in a 21-county area of Ga. In her last fiscal year there, her leadership allowed the food bank to more than double the amount of food they distributed, compared to years prior.
“I am extremely passionate about the mission of ending hunger,” said Kendall. “I am an outside-the-box kind of leader and know that problems can be solved by being creative with our solutions. The Palm Beach County Food Bank has a great staff and an amazing board of directors who are each very involved with our mission to end hunger in our community. The need for our services is greater than ever and we must help our neighbors in need of assistance.”
Prior to her most recent food bank experience, Kendall spent more than 25 years in the nonprofit sector, working for social service humanitarian organizations, as well as land conservation groups across the state of Ga. She is an Ohio native and attended Bowling Green State University.
Delray Beach resident Vaughan is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University, via Ct. She brings nearly 20 years of Palm Beach County fundraising experience to her new role. With former leadership positions at St. Andrew’s School, American Cancer Society and Armory Art Center, she most recently served as director of annual fund development for Palm Beach Atlantic University.
“Every day when I come to work, I am able to see our results and impact in the county,” said Vaughan. “It can be very rewarding; I know that our donors feel this too. They appreciate how hard we work to support the one in five children who will go to bed hungry – and the thousands of seniors who do not know where they will get their next meal. The pandemic has changed the ‘face’ of hunger and exposed just how easy it is for people to become food insecure. I feel especially grateful to be in this role during the pandemic because it allows me to bring my experience to the table to produce the best possible results, so that we can continue to alleviate hunger in Palm Beach County.”
In addition to her professional roles, Vaughan is president-elect of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Palm Beach County Chapter. She is also a sustainer with the Junior League of the Palm Beaches – an organization where she has been a member for more than 20 years.
Those in need of food assistance may visit the Palm Beach County Food Bank website to learn where they can find food distributions right in their neighborhood. To learn more about opportunities to volunteer, host a food drive or make a financial contribution to the Palm Beach County Food Bank, visit pbcfoodbank.org or call at 561-670-2518.