The Executive Director of the Food Bank of South Central Michigan says it's been "the greatest job in the world." Bob Randels plans to retire from that job early next year.
Randels has led the organization since it launched in 1982 (Battle Creek Enquirer story). He told WMUK's Gordon Evans that food banks in Michigan and the nationwide system got their start in the recession of the late 1970's and early 80's when the decline of manufacturing left many people out of work.
Randels says the food bank has fed a lot of people over three decades. But he says it's scary now to see that a significant number of the people who are "food insecure" are children and the elderly.
After 30 years leading the food bank, Randels says it's time to do other things, although he plans to be involved in issues of hunger and poverty. He says it's time for new leadership and new ideas.
But Randels says he's still "on the clock" until February and he says many challenges lie ahead before he is "put out to pasture."
The food bank's board of directors has appointed a succession committee to find its next director. Randels says he would tell anyone taking on the job to "follow your instincts, but also be willing to listen to the good things that are already happening on a day to day basis here."