Manna Food Center of Gaithersburg recently introduced a new executive director after the previous one stepped down.
One of the county’s largest food banks, Manna named Minerva Delgado its new executive director July 24. Delgado had spent the last five years as director of agency resources at the Food Bank for New York City, one the nation’s largest food banks.
Delgado replaces Kim Damion, who stepped down at the end of June, following her father’s death, from the position she had held since 2010.
Damion said she plans to stay involved in the organization by joining Manna’s board of directors this September. Since she stepped down, she’s worked as a real estate agent and dedicated some time to Manna, even helping to pick Delgado as her replacement.
“She’s going to be fabulous,” Damion said of Delgado. “All you have to do is look at her resume and know she’s a great fit.”
Delgado, 47, is a native of the Bronx, N.Y. Before joining the Food Bank of New York City she held a senior position at the Children’s Defense Fund — a nonprofit child advocacy organization — and taught at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she co-founded the Women of Color Policy Network, a research group that collects data on women and communities of color.
At the Food Bank of New York City, Delgado was tasked with overseeing compliance for the food distribution centers that work with the food bank, she said.
Delgado joins Manna as demand for the nonprofit rises.
In fiscal 2012, which ended this July, Manna served food to 43,000 households, 5,000 more than the previous year.
The food center also took in more donated food than in previous years; donors gave 3.75 million pounds of food, roughly 50,000 pounds more than the year before.
Damion said the demand has been attributed to a rise in families seeking assistance for the first time, likely due to lingering unemployment or underemployment.
Delgado said her focus will be on encouraging the center’s volunteer base, which contributed more than 50,000 hours of work, helping to run not just the center but also food drives to support it. She said volunteers represent a large portion of Manna’s work force.
In addition, Delgado oversees a staff of 16 full-time and four part-time employees. She said her annual salary is $80,000.
Manna’s total budget at the end of 2011 was $6.79 million, more than $6 million of which came from grants and gifts, according to tax records. Fundraising consisted of $44,116 of its income that year.
Delgado said working closely with both volunteers and those seeking assistance is what drew her to Manna.
“What I really like [about Manna] is that it’s smaller and a much more tight-knit team,” she said. “You’re close to the people you’re serving, and that’s important.”