WALLINGFORD, CONN., June 24, 2019 – The Connecticut Food Bank today announced that Valarie Shultz-Wilson, of Danbury, has been appointed CEO of the organization, effective July 15. Prior to joining the Connecticut Food Bank, Shultz-Wilson served for 13 years as President & CEO of the Urban League of Southern Connecticut. “We are pleased to welcome Valarie,” said Connecticut Food Bank Board Chairman Wes Higgins. “She is an experienced, effective, and dynamic leader who has devoted her career to leading organizations working to improve the lives of people who struggle with poverty.”
Higgins said Shultz-Wilson was ideally qualified to take on the leadership role at the Connecticut Food Bank as the organization explores new ways to meet evolving needs. “Sadly, we have seen demand remain constant within our network, despite news of an improved economy,” Higgins said. “More people who visit us need help, despite the fact that they are working one – sometimes more – jobs.” Higgins noted that Shultz-Wilson’s work at the Urban League of Southern Connecticut and her other community ties to programs that serve people in need will provide experience and connections to make her an effective leader.
“Through her personal commitment to building equity and fostering change and her proven leadership, Valarie will help us to discover and build new ways of helping people move beyond food assistance to increased health, stability, and success.”
Shultz-Wilson said she was energized by the opportunity. “In my time as a Board member at the Connecticut Food Bank, I have been impressed by the commitment and professionalism of the team. I’m honored that my colleagues on the Board saw me as a candidate to the Food Bank and look forward to building our capacity, deepening our impact, and raising awareness of the intersection of food insecurity, poverty, health, and economic opportunity.”
In welcoming Shultz-Wilson, Higgins thanked outgoing CEO Bernie Beaudreau for his “energy, hard work, and commitment over the past three years.” Higgins noted that the food bank has made progress during those three years on its goals, growing its food distribution by 20%, expanding outreach to partner agencies, and “raising our voice in a stronger advocacy role on policy issues that relate to hunger.” Higgins also noted that the Connecticut Food Bank successfully completed a move to a new satellite warehouse in Bridgeport, increasing access to food for partners in southwest Connecticut, where there is a high concentration of need.
About the Connecticut Food Bank:
The Connecticut Food Bank is committed to alleviating hunger in Connecticut by providing food resources, raising awareness of the challenges of hunger, and advocating for people who need help meeting basic needs. The Connecticut Food Bank partners with the food industry, food growers, donors, and volunteers to distribute nutritious food to people in need. Last year, the Connecticut Food Bank distributed enough food to provide more than 20.3 million meals. We distribute that food through a network of community-based programs in Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, and Windham counties, where more than 280,000 people struggle with hunger. Visit us on the web at www.ctfoodbank.org, like us on Facebook and follow @CTFoodBank on Twitter and Instagram.