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With the upcoming departure of Don Fulford, a local food bank’s search for a new director became a homecoming.
Gary Miles returns to his former position as executive director of Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland in September, after the current director, Fulford, leaves for a nonprofit position in Missouri.
Miles served as director from 1998 to 2011 before retiring. He continued to work with the food bank on a part-time basis, but admits he missed the leadership position.
“I somewhat felt a void over the year and a half, not being able to lead the organization,” he said.
When he learned Fulford was leaving for a new position, Miles felt it was an opportunity to be seized.
Miles “still had the passion for the great work the organization does,” he said.
Fulford will become the first layman to serve as CEO of the Association of the Miraculous Medal, an organization of the Vincentians, a congregation of Catholic priests and brothers, in Perryville, Mo.
Fulford said he wanted to take the opportunity to work with the Catholic church and with a national organization.
“I want to be able to help more people and reach out to more people,” Miles said.
Fulford said running a food bank that serves western Kentucky is a complex mission and gives him a lot of experience to move to this next step. The food bank moves 1 million pounds of food a month, including filling 25,000 backpacks in its BackPack Program.
“This place is like a beehive on the inside,” he said.
Fulford leaves Sept. 9, which is the start date for Miles. Miles said he would like to see the BackPack Program expand, as well as its new mobile food bank, which allows the organization to distribute some goods themselves.
He also wants to ensure the organization is reaching all 42 counties in its service area.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.