We are deeply saddened to share that the Feeding America network lost an incredible leader and an irreplaceable voice in the fight against hunger.
Jane Avery, CEO of Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, passed away July 16, 2015. Jane cared deeply about the plight of hungry Americans and dedicated her life to serving people in need.
Jane assumed the role of CEO of Community Harvest Food Bank in 1996, and her contributions to hungry people in her community are beyond measure. She was an early adopter of using advocacy to help fight hunger. As a strong and trusted resource to several lawmakers, including Senator Richard Lugar, Jane became a powerful voice for the people she served. She fought tirelessly for policies and programs that protected our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
In addition to lawmakers, Jane was also dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of hungry Americans among the public. She fought to bring to light the tough economic conditions faced by people in her community due to factory closures and a steep decline in U.S. manufacturing. She promoted compassion for others and inspired action on their behalf.
Jane believed in treating every single person she served with respect and dignity, and this is demonstrated in the programs she pioneered. As a daughter of a community grocer, Jane forged the client-choice model of food distribution using her family’s expertise. By enabling the people she served to choose their own food as in a grocery store, Jane believed it would help clients maintain dignity during difficult times.
In honor of all of these contributions – and her countless more – Community Harvest Food Bank was recognized as Food Bank of the Year by Feeding America in 2005. Under her leadership, Community Harvest Food Bank evolved to become a pillar of strength in its community and the entire Feeding America network.
“Jane was one of a kind,” said Feeding America President Matt Knott. “She had a passion for our mission and was always fighting for the people she served. She was also a dedicated wife and mother and loved her family very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.”
Although she is gone too soon, we are grateful for the life she lived and the time she spent as a member of the Feeding America family. Her dedication, passion and grace helped put food on the table of thousands of families who might otherwise have gone without. Jane may be gone, but her legacy lives on. She has made our world a better place.Tags: Hunger Heroes , Food Bank Network , Indiana , Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, Inc.