New food bank director cautions about new guidelines

MADDY JONES - INDEX-JOURNAL The new executive director of the Greenwood Food Bank Wendi Andrews stands with longtime food bank employee Chuck Scarboro, left, and board member Leonard Moses, right.

Greenwood Food Bank soon will have new guidelines to abide by, and has a new executive director to implement them.

"There are going to be some changes," said Wendi Andrews, who replaces Barbara Turnburke as executive director after Turnburke left April 30 to work full-time at her consignment shop. "A lot of the changes are happening because of the Golden Harvest Food Bank."

The changes, Andrews said, will help the food bank be more beneficial to the individuals and families it serves. She said since the agency serves USDA food it has to report the number of food items used to Golden Harvest Food Bank.

"We want to help them (the people we serve) become self-sustained in a more personable manner," Andrews said. "I'm really excited about the possibilities of the food bank, and will discuss the changes with the donors and grantors. I will reach out to them to let them know about the guidelines and why they are happening. The changes will improve the procedures of the food bank. We will continue to serve people with dignity and respect."

Andrews said she is excited to work with her new supportive board member to improve operations of the food banks.

Steve Shiflet, chairman of the board and the vice president for business at Connie Maxwell Children's Home, said Andrews was hired for several reasons.

"She has worked with non-profit agencies and helped build the United Way's VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program from the ground up," Shiflet said.

According to its website, the Greenwood and Abbeville County VITA program is an IRS-sponsored program that involves community members helping taxpayers prepare their annual tax returns. The program provides free income tax services to people with annual incomes of $50,000 or less.

"She (Andrews) has a good background in grant writing and fundraising," Shiflet said. "I think she will make the food bank very successful."

Shiflet also said Golden Harvest guidelines are something the food bank has to follow because it provides USDA food and often get its food from retail outlets, including Publix, Wal-Mart, Bi-Lo and Food Lion.

"We have to report our numbers to Golden Harvest," Shiflet said. "They report the numbers to Feeding America."

Reporting the food bank numbers helps satisfy a requirement of a contract.

Andrews said she also looks forward to the upcoming Mail Carriers' Food Drive for which people can leave canned goods for their mail carriers to pick up.

"We are looking forward to having her (Andrews) lead us in the future and help more," Shiflet said. "Not enable, but assist those in need."