The Food Bank of Greenwood County began in 1983 as the effort of Barbara Atwood Jackson, wife of former Lander College president, Larry A. Jackson.
Barbara Jackson served as the executive director of the Food Bank of Greenwood County for 20 years and still volunteers with her husband at the Food Bank today.
“In the beginning, it was very much a part-time job,” Jackson said in an article in The Index-Journal. “Now, it’s very much a full-time job and it has changed so much.”
The formation of the Food Bank was in response to an effort led by former S.C. Governor Richard Riley, who was serving as U.S Secretary of Education in 1982. Riley was seeking a way to assist South Carolina textile workers who were being impacted by widespread mill shutdowns.
The Food Bank has moved multiple times in its history. It started in the old Blake School (now the United Center for Community Care.) It moved to Lander University’s Coleman Hall, later to a former county jail building and, then, back to its current site at the United Center for Community Care.
“The food bank is the work of so many people,” she said. “It has been an honor and my joy to be part of this enterprise….Crisis strikes anyone and can be overwhelming.”
Wendi Andrews, the current executive director of the Food Bank of Greenwood County, has been instrumental in applying for grants that have made it possible to purchase a truck. This truck is an integral part of a mobile food bank effort that takes food distribution to other areas of Greenwood County.
In addition, the Food Bank has added the Sowing Seeds program which allows clients to make a minimal investment to receive fresh food.