Food bank director taking on new career

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2003

Peggy Moore, the executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, can attest that all good things must eventually end, as she prepares to resign from her position.

"It's been an extremely difficult decision to make," Moore said. "The staff, clients, donors and board members -- leaving the food bank is like leaving family."

Moore served on the food bank's board of directors for five years prior to her current position. She took on the responsibilities of executive director in October 1998 and served until April 2000. She took a brief hiatus for back surgery and post surgical physical therapy but returned to duty in December 2001 and has served continuously since then.

Leaving the community will be equally hard for Moore. She has lived in the Kenai-Soldotna area since 1969 and raised her four children here.

"There's no tension or any problems here," Moore said.

Her resignation comes as a result of Moore and her husband, Tim, moving to Homer. They run a commercial salmon fishing operation there into Prince William Sound from June to September. Their relocation will aid them in the logistics of this career endeavor.

Homer has no food bank, but it does have the Homer Community Food Pantry and other similar organizations. Moore said she didn't have any plans as of yet to become involved in them.

"We're focusing on relocating first and then we'll determine what direction to take with the fishing businesses," she said in regards to the house hunting they'll be doing. "Any work I might do at one of the Homer organizations would most likely be voluntary."

The board of directors already has begun the search for Moore's successor. They've run ads in newspapers and through employment services.

The hope is a qualified candidate can be found by March to overlap with Moore for a smooth transition. Moore's official last day will be April 1.

"The main qualification for the position is a passion for what they're doing," Moore said. "Whoever the new executive director will be, they'll be welcomed by the staff and community."

The change shouldn't affect any upcoming events, according to Moore. Plans are under way for the second annual Easter dinner, based on the success of last year's inaugural meal.

March 8 and 9 will be the CANstruction event, a sculpting contest with canned and boxed goods for donations as the medium.

Fantasy Feast, a limited seating and by-invitation-only dinner, will be held at the end of March. There was an element of mystery to the event that Moore wouldn't elaborate on.

"I don't want to give away the theme of the dinner," she said, but she promised, "It will be an experience to remember."

It's events like these that are one of the things Moore will miss most after resigning her post. She shared one of her most memorable moments working at the food bank and the way it touched her life.

She recapped an event from last Christmas when three peninsula businesses volunteered to anonymously sponsor three needed families in the area. Moore believed it was an effort by these organizations to share in the true meaning of the season.

Confidentiality was maintained so the businesses never knew which families they helped, and likewise, the families never knew which business helped them.

"It's rewarding to see someone go from needing assistance, to getting on their feet and helping someone else," she said.

It's been this kind of help within the community that Moore cherishes so much.

"I was proud to be a part of that," she said in regards to the role she's played. "Things like that make each day in this job an honor and a privilege."

In truth, leaving her job is hard on her for a number of reasons, she said.

"I'm going to miss the people I work with. We're a close-knit group of people who enjoy interacting with the community."

She went on to add, "The clients and people who come in each day are a source of encouragement that I will miss."

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