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