In 1981, the Food Bank was founded when a group of unemployed steelworkers, churches, and community groups
began distributing food packages to families that were hardest hit by the collapse of the steel industry and the recession
in the early 1980's. These pantries were organized into what has now become the Food Pantry Network, which was at the
time operated by Community Action until 1997.
In January 1998, the Washington County Commissioners created a new organization to maintain the Food Bank.
The commissioners believed it was time for the Food Bank to be an independent agency with its own Board of Directors
that could direct its energy to the purpose of fighting hunger in Washington County. Out of this belief, the Greater Washington
County Food Bank was born. The new Food Bank was quickly incorporated, applied for, and received its federal tax-exempt
status, 501(c) 3, and Bureau of Charitable Organization status.
Since becoming its own entity, the Greater Washington County Food Bank has grown in many ways, including:
going from operating 18 pantries to currently 36 pantries; implementing a new program to establish food pantries directly
at the site of senior citizen facilities; creating the Emergency Food Box and Voucher Program for residents that are in immediate
dire need of food; creating a CSFP program that assists clients that are over 60 years of age with additional food assistance;
providing the Fresh Express Program, where fresh produce, in addition to non-perishable items are distributed to clients.
Now in its 30th year, the Greater Washington County Food Bank continues to "Help Feed the Hungry" so that no one in
Washington County goes to bed hungry.