A note from the new CEO of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, Tom Nardacci
It is a tremendous honor to address you as the new CEO of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. I am grateful to our dedicated Board of Directors for selecting me to lead this incredible organization at an important time. I have spent the past two months onboarding and learning about the operations, finances, administration, and community partnerships. Most importantly, I've spent quality time getting to know the entire team.
I know that the success of the Food Bank is due to the talented and committed staff, thousands of caring volunteers, hundreds of tireless community partners, and our kindhearted donors who consistently give.
Let me first say that I am grateful for Molly Nicol's stewardship over the past few years as CEO, her exceptional leadership during the pandemic, and her efforts in fortifying the organization and its finances. Additionally, she played the lead role in formulating a new five-year strategic plan that includes advancing the development of a distribution facility in the Hudson Valley. Her guidance and support have been invaluable in introducing me to the various facets of the Food Bank. As she embarks on her retirement, we all extend our best wishes to her.
My background is deeply rooted in the community long before I ever opened my own businesses or volunteered for community organizations. For 50 years, my family operated Nardacci’s Broadway Food Mart in the city of Rensselaer. I cherish the time I spent working in my grandparent’s store and the valuable lessons I learned there. The store was the center of our working-class neighborhood and my grandparents’ generosity helped many people and families through tough times. The lessons I learned there - about compassion, giving back, fairness, humility, and hard work - have followed me my entire career, and especially now.
For decades, the Regional Food Bank has been at the forefront of alleviating hunger, preventing food waste, and nourishing the communities we serve. Through our own diversity of programs and through partnerships with nearly 900 partner agencies, we distribute 50 million pounds of food annually. We provide food assistance to 350,000 people each month, 100,000 of which are children.
Over the next five years, we anticipate numerous challenges. The demand for nutritious food remains at an all-time high, yet the support that organizations like ours received during the pandemic is beginning to diminish. Additionally, food supply chains are facing a myriad of challenges, further complicating our efforts. Yet, we are firmly committed to doing more to meet the need and close the meal gaps that exist in our 23-county service area. And we have plans to equitably distribute food so that we assist those in need no matter how urban or how rural their location.
I begin this new role with the lessons learned in my family store close at hand. My grandparents are in my thoughts every day. Like them, I firmly believe that no one should ever have to worry about where their next meal will come from, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that food reaches every table in our community.
I look forward to putting all my professional and personal experiences to work for the mission of the Regional Food Bank. Together, we can all make a meaningful difference and fight hunger with unwavering determination.
My colleagues and friends have asked me how they can help right now. The best way is to financially support our operations. Every $1 donated can provide 4 meals through programs like our Senior Food Delivery Program and children’s Summer BackPack Program. Programs like these help us provide nutritious food to some of our most vulnerable neighbors. I would appreciate your donation.
I look forward to working and collaborating with you.
In service I am,
Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York