Feeding the future: David Weaver retiring after 27 years but his - FOX34 Lubbock

Feeding the future: David Weaver retiring after 27 years but his legacy lives on

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David Weaver is retiring from the South Plains Food Bank after 27 years David Weaver is retiring from the South Plains Food Bank after 27 years
LUBBOCK, Texas -

"Been here for 27 years, and although I look young, I just felt like, well, it's probably time to pass along the torch to the next generation," Executive Director David Weaver said. 

In those 27 years Weaver has watched the South Plains Food Bank grow, and with it his passion to serve others. 

He remembers a time when the food bank was in a small office park, the ceilings barely high enough to stack food.
Now, the food bank has moved into a substantially larger space on Martin Luther King Blvd. with high ceilings, and room to grow.

More than enough space to help feed the 58,000 South Plains residents they serve each year.

 

The new South Plains Food Bank locations on MLK Blvd.

 


"Our food is so important but just as important is the hope that we provide when we pass out a box of food," Weaver said.


The very idea of "food banking" has changed in Weaver's nearly 3 decades of experience. It is more than providing temporary nourishment.

"You realize everyone has a unique story. We're not here by chance. Sometimes things happen beyond our control. So let's help them, we can provide them with food, but we also want to listen to people and treat them with respect and dignity," Weaver said. "These are people my kids go to school with, people maybe I've seen at church, and it doesn't become 'the other', this is my neighbor i'm taking care of," he added.

Weaver always remains humble about his work.  He says, he stands on the shoulders of those who came before him. One thing is clear, Weaver is passionate about the work he does.

"The difference we've made. I've developed relationships with the families we've served over the years. And it's just, again, it's important to know that we've made a difference in their lives. Sometimes we're there for a little while, and sometimes we're there for a long time," Weaver said.

One of the most unique parts of the food bank is the 15-acre apple orchard located directly behind the main facilities, the 2500 trees were first harvested in 1997 when David Weaver became Executive Director and since then he has seen the food bank grow from the ground up.

"You can count the seeds in an apple but you can't count the apples in a seed. And I think about that with the orchard. It's quite a legacy. And I think about that with the people who planted the seed of this food bank. Caroline and Ray, just so many people were involved," Weaver said. 


Under Weaver's direction, programs have been created to reach all age groups. From teaching children how to become self-sufficient to outreach for seniors in  rural communities and more.

These programs will continue to feed thousands of people in the future, even in his absence.

"The ultimate hope that all food bankers have is 'we'll need to close this place down' because...we've solved hunger.' But in the meantime, I hope we continue to serve the community and we continue to be a crossroads in our community where people who need food assistance who are food insecure can come and find hope and find help and find nourishment," he said.


Weaver won't be leaving the table just yet, he will stay on board to see the next Executive Director take on the job.

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