In 1989, a compassionate and hardworking group of people, lead through the efforts of Novis Percival, a local visionary, started offering food to local people in need. In its first year, they served about 35 families. Growing quickly into an important resource in the community, the founding group formally incorporated the organization as “Community Pantry” in 1992.
In 2009, the organization transformed itself from a pantry operation to a food bank, becoming the Community Food Bank of San Benito County and part of the Feeding America network of food banks. This important milestone enabled the Food Bank to offer more food programs to help more community members, including other local non-profits.
Accomplishments and Milestones
- 1989: Novis Percival and her team of volunteers begin handing out food at Veteran’s Park
- 1991: A facility at the Hollister Municipal Airport is acquired from the City of Hollister and is renovated with donated materials and labor
- 1992: “Community Pantry” is incorporated
- 2005: Community Pantry sets up an endowment fund at Community Foundation of San Benito County, with a long-term goal of $1,000,000
- 2006: Community Pantry moves to a new location on San Felipe Road which allows for expansion in food storage and distribution
- 2009: In its new, larger location, Community Pantry reinvents itself as the Community Food Bank of San Benito County in order to expand its programs and services
- 2015: Leadership and staff changes as Executive Director Mary Anne Hughes retires and the Food Bank welcomes Maria Lynn Thomas as the new CEO