New director for Community Food Bank

Maria Lynn Thomas to replace Mary Anne Hughes, who is retiring

The Community Food Bank of San Benito County announced that Maria Lynn Thomas is its new chief executive officer replacing Mary Anne Hughes, who is retiring from her position as CEO. Hughes plans to continue her focus on fund development and completion of the organization's planned, new facility.

"Maria brings a wealth of organizational management experience, positive and encouraging energy and a proven personal commitment to the Food Bank’s mission," the food bank said in a press release.

“We are so lucky to be able to make this transition with two such dedicated and compatible leaders,” said board member, Susan Thompson. The Food Bank, established in 1989 as The Community Pantry, serves 110,000 meals every month to approximately 5,000 locals.

Thomas moved to San Benito County in 1994. She has a 25-year career in human resources management and a earned a master's of business administration from Indiana University, one of the nation’s top 20 MBA programs.

Most recently, she has worked as a management consultant. She has been partnering with the Food Bank for the last three years as a consultant to its board of directors and executive director.

Thomas said she wanted to teach her son the importance of volunteerism. She reached out to Hughes, a longtime friend and colleague, about volunteer opportunities at the Food Bank.

“I was overwhelmed with the level of need here in San Benito County," Thomas said. "I quickly discovered how real the problem is when I listened to the stories of the people receiving food distributions. And I was immediately impressed with the dedication of the Food Bank’s staff and volunteers. I had to be a part of that.”

Thomas said her vision for the Community Food Bank of San Benito County is to:

  • Fill bags with food
  • Fill minds with possibilities
  • Fill spirits with hope

In addition to providing nutritious food, her vision is to connect people with resources they need to live healthy and rewarding lives.

The Community Food Ban of San Benito County serves as a countywide source of supplemental food for the working poor, low-income seniors, families, children, homeless and disabled citizens of the area. It also supplies food to nonprofit agency partners who serve those in need.

BenitoLink Staff