1. The Food Pantry started about 20 or more years ago when a Methodist Minister, Rev. Sheldon Johnson, got the local Ministerial Alliance to back it. It was Sheldon’s idea. The first location was at the Smithville Methodist Church which it quickly outgrew and moved one block East to the old central elementary school and that’s where it was when I showed up for duty. The word had gone out that some men were needed to handle the cases of canned goods. Two of us showed up. Not long after this that location sold and the City along with the Lions Club and maybe the LCRA got an old dwelling moved to the previous location one block North of our current location. The Pantry did not have any ownership of this property. We added on to it with donations and free RVICS labor.
2. Rev. Johnson was assigned to another Church in Brady, Tx so we were without a leader. A lady by the name of Dot Ivins, a RVICS member, was acting as General Manager. It was a unique situation in that Rev. Johnson had got us designated as a Charitable Organization by the IRS but he left before got a set of by-laws so we did not have any written form of organization. Several of us including myself, Dot Ivins, Angie Brannen and another lady sat down and verbally agreed to divide up responsibilities. We became the Board of Directors. I became Chairman because no one wanted it and we needed someone to run the meetings. Dot agreed to continue to run the day to day operations, another agreed to keep minutes and another the treasurer. The treasurer decided to take an extended vacation and I agreed to do this temporarily. When she returned she didn’t want her job back so I agreed to do this also. Jobs like this are hard to get rid of and fifteen years later I was still Chairman and Treasurer. Dot retired in her 80’s and moved to Iowa to be near some family and by this time we had a volunteer by the name of Betty Nicholls who agreed to be General Manager and several years later when she retired we had a talented lady volunteer named Sam Martin who took over. When she moved Nancy Trousdale took over and ran it until she got cancer. Judy had been a volunteer for a short time and it was apparent that she had leadership ability and she took the job.
3. Judy wanted Charles Keathly to continue to order the food from the Central Texas Food Bank but she is the General Manager and in charge of day to day operations.
4. The Board of Directors grew from the original “self appointed” group mentioned above. A local attorney agreed to draw up a set of bylaws for us at no charge a few years ago. After 15 years I wanted to retire and Reed Morgan who had become a director agreed to take my job as Chair and a year later Dennis Snyder agreed to take my treasurers job. All of our current directors were appointed by the Board according to our Bylaws and all except Reed and Dennis have actually worked as volunteers and/or currently work as volunteers. They do not represent any particularly constituency. Two are retired school principals. Another is retired from a management position with the LCRA and Dennis is retired from IBM. Reed runs the local Edward Jones office.