Throughout her many years as leader of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Kathleen DiChiara has worked to keep the spotlight on the issue of hunger, the people we serve, and all those who make what we do possible.
But right now, we’re turning our attention to Kathleen, who’s made the decision to retire this year as President and CEO of CFBNJ. Kathleen’s inspirational journey is familiar to many friends of the FoodBank. She turned a one-woman mission to feed her hungry neighbors into one of the largest anti-hunger and poverty organizations in America. Her passionate work on behalf of hungry people began four decades ago, by handing out of groceries from the back of her station wagon. Over the decades, she has been at the helm as CFBNJ has distributed a total of 600 million pounds of food, and touched the lives of countless New Jersey residents in need. Last year alone, we distributed more than 43 million pounds of food, the most in our history. Under Kathleen’s leadership, we’ve grown steadily, and now employ 200 people, and provide food to more than 1,000 partner charities through our 285,000-square-foot headquarters in Hillside, and 29,000-square-foot southern branch in Egg Harbor Township.
Reflecting on her decision, Kathleen says, “I have been truly blessed to have worked with and for so many wonderful people for so many years. The work is not over. We still have so many hungry people right here in New Jersey. With an outstanding board and staff, and with so many friends and supporters, the Community FoodBank is poised for even greater accomplishments. I am confident the board will select just the right person to succeed me and lead on.”
Richard Brody, Chairman of CFBNJ’s Board of Directors, adds, “Many people speak about wanting to ‘make a difference.’ Few, if any, have incorporated that concept more effectively than Kathleen, and achieved success on this scale. The Board of Directors of CFBNJ is grateful for its role in the mission, and is dedicated to honoring Kathleen’s history by carrying on her work to secure a successful future for the organization.”
Kathleen plans to remain as President and Chief Executive Officer through the end of the FoodBank’s current fiscal year, June 30th, 2015, and a nationwide search is under way to find the next leader of CFBNJ.
It will be an exciting new chapter in the CFBNJ story, and there will be opportunities to celebrate and honor Kathleen’s tireless and selfless contributions.
But for now, all of us at CFBNJ just want to share one message with Kathleen: Thank you for everything!
On Thursday, June 4th we will honor this amazing woman at A Lifetime of Help; A Legacy of Hope: Celebrating Kathleen DiChiara. Funds raised through this event will be used to continue the important work to which she has dedicated her life. There are also various sponsorship and advertising opportunities available, as another way to help carry on her mission.