New Galesburg Branch Brings on Site Director with Deep Community Ties
DAVENPORT, IOWA– The River Bend Food Bank is excited to announce the hiring of Bobbi Pio as the site director for the new River Bend Food Bank, Galesburg Branch. A distribution hub for the Food Bank, the Galesburg Branch will provide greater access to more nutritious and perishable foods for more than 50 food pantries and other partner agencies serving the segment of the Food Bank’s service area including Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Stark, and Warren counties. In addition to the Galesburg Branch, FISH of Galesburg will re-locate to the space, allowing for all-around greater guest access and allow FISH to increase their pantry offerings.
A Galesburg resident, Mrs. Pio is currently a development officer for Monmouth College, with previous experience as part of the Galesburg Community Foundation, one of the partners in the Galesburg Branch project. Pio brings with her 29 years of experience in nonprofit organization operations and development, with 17 of those years spent serving organizations in Knox and Warren counties. Pio will serve as the primary contact from the Galesburg Branch for the Galesburg community and will assist in fundraising for the project while learning the Food Bank’s operations. Once the branch nears its open date, she will lead a team of employees and volunteers to distribute over five million meals by 2025.
Says Pio: “I’m thrilled to be joining the River Bend Food Bank team. There has been a group committed to the issue of food security in our area for many years. It’s truly an honor to have been a part of those conversations and to see those efforts come to life in the new distribution center. I look forward to working with our partner agencies and community leaders in our service area to help end hunger in our neighborhoods.”
According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap Study, one out of every nine individuals (and one out of every five children) faces food insecurity locally. Hunger continues to be a prevalent issue that requires a community-wide response. During 2020, an estimated 60 million people (up 50% over previous years) accessed food assistance programs across the U.S., showing that the work of food banks and local food pantries was and continues to be essential to alleviate devastating food insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are delighted to have Bobbi on the River Bend Food Bank team,” said Mike Miller, president & CEO of the Food Bank. “We hoped from the beginning that one of the community leaders who developed the vision for this facility would join the effort, and Bobbi is the perfect person to help bring that vision to reality. Of our current partner agencies, 50 are located closer to Galesburg than to Davenport, many considerably so. The hope is that this initiative will make it easier for us to work together, putting an end to hunger in all 23 counties we serve.”
The renovations of the Galesburg Branch are currently being designed. The location is at the corner of Main and Henderson Streets in Galesburg, known to many as the former Rheinschmidt’s Carpet Center. Thanks to a donation of adjacent land from the city of Galesburg, the Food Bank will construct a 4,000 square foot cooler/freezer next to the building to hold fresh produce, frozen protein, and dairy products, some of the healthiest foods available. The Galesburg Branch is scheduled to be completed to open to partner agency pantries for food distribution in early 2022.