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January 25, 2012

Proud to Serve as Food & Friends' New Board President

In December, the Food & Friends Board of Directors elected me to serve as President for the next two years. I joined the Food & Friends board in 2007 and have found my experience to be one of the most satisfying of my life.  I am excited to have this leadership role in one of the most effective non-profit organizations in the region.

Like many volunteers, I didn't know very much about Food & Friends when I first got involved (a friend of mine who has served on the board for many years thought it would be a good fit for me).  Of course I've learned a lot about our programs and services through my board service, but it really came home to me when I made my first delivery and met a young woman with two children who was receiving meals for her entire family as she battled her illness.  I saw how much courage and determination our clients need in the face of a serious illness, and what a difference Food & Friends can make.  It made me even more determined to do whatever I could to keep those vital services available to those in need.

I want to express my personal thanks to each of you for your support of Food & Friends.  Over the past seven years I have come to appreciate the vital role that volunteers and donors play in ensuring that each of our nearly 3,000 clients can count on Food & Friends as they cope with one of the most serious challenges they will ever face. Thanks to you, people throughout DC, Maryland and Virginia who are living with a life-challenging illness, such as HIV/AIDS or cancer, will receive nutritious meals and nutrition counseling to fight their disease and the side effects of treatment.

Although we prepared and delivered over 1.2 million meals in 2011, we are not satisfied with standing still in the face of the AIDS epidemic and the very high mortality rates from cancer we know exist in this region. The board and the staff, under the outstanding leadership of our Executive Director, Craig Shniderman, are looking at ways in which we can serve more people who need our services.  And, we are dedicated to finding the resources to bring our services to many more people in the years ahead.

I am confident that our partnership of volunteers, staff and donors will keep Food & Friends on the very positive trajectory we have been on in recent years.  I look forward to keeping you informed of our progress.

Erik Hower
President, Board of Directors

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