MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Montgomery Area Food Bank held a ribbon-cutting ceremony as they were donated a building to use for their efforts around the state.
“The largest food bank in Alabama is getting even bigger," said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed.
Friday was declared as Montgomery Area Food Bank Day across the state by Gov. Kay Ivey. The city of Montgomery followed suit.
“In a world where negativity sometimes gets the headlines, positivity really makes the difference," said Reed. "And it’s really important for us to remember that and the works you all do, and the work of your staff that’s assembled here, the work that’s being carried on throughout Alabama today continues to do throughout this mission.”
That wasn’t the only part of Friday’s celebration. Food bank officials took the liberty of dedicating its newest home to former longtime director Parke Hinman. The dedication brought him to tears.
“The first thing I would say is I’m genuinely humbled that you are honoring me and my family. The best job I ever had. Right here,” said Hinman.
Hinman served as director of MAFB from December 1994 to August 2016. Under his leadership, food distribution grew from 6 million pounds annually in 1993 to over 21 million pounds annually by his departure. Under Hinman’s leadership, MAFB expanded its service area to 35 of Alabama’s 67 counties.
“He was a leader in his community. He was a leader at Maxwell. He was a ultimate leader when it came to the Montgomery Area Food Bank and I cannot count - Faith and I both - I cannot count anyone among our friends that are better friends than Cookie and Parke,” said ExOfficio Board of Directors member Tony Baggiano, who spoke of Hinman during the dedication ceremony.
MAFB routinely interacts with municipal, state and national organizations including US Departments of Agriculture, Public Health, and Human Resources. It also interacts with Hand on River Region as well as FEMA and the American Red Cross during times of emergency and disaster relief.