Community Food Bank of Fresno and its CEO, Andy Souza, were recognized Monday with a national award for their anti-hunger efforts at a conference of food banks in Washington, D.C.
Souza was presented with Feeding America’s Dick Goebel Award, recognizing outstanding public service and commitment to ending hunger in a local community. The award was presented by Feeding America CEO Diana Aviv at a breakfast session of the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference. The award is named for the late Rev. Dick Goebel, a Lutheran pastor who founded Second Harvest Heartland in St. Paul, Minnesota in the 1990s. Souza has been CEO of Fresno’s Community Food Bank since 2010.
“I had no clue” that he was going to be recognized, Souza said. “Very rarely am I caught completely by surprise. … We’re one of the 200 largest food banks across the country, and it’s really humbling when they call your name and you’re standing in front of 1,500 people.”
Souza was quick to credit his staff for the award. “Things like this don’t happen because of one person,” he told The Bee by phone on Monday. “I’ve got a great staff and we do great work. We’ve been able to double the amount of food we distribute over the last six years, and we do it in a very strategic and intentional manner.”
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The three-day conference began Sunday and concludes on Tuesday.