Longtime Food Banker Joins County’s Leading Hunger-Relief Nonprofit
Following an extensive nationwide search, the Feeding Westchester Board of Directors announced the arrival of incoming President & Chief Executive Officer Karen Erren. With more than 20 years of nonprofit experience, Erren most recently served as Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Food Bank, where she led the startup organization through an extraordinary growth phase.
Feeding Westchester Board Chair Sue Norton said, ”we are thrilled to have someone of Karen’s caliber taking the helm. She is not only a seasoned leader, but is passionate about solving the immediate and longer-term systemic issues surrounding food insecurity. She’s already working on terrific ideas to support our Westchester neighbors in need!”
While at the Palm Beach County Food Bank, Erren instituted broad-based infrastructure and significantly increased the food bank’s base of support, while initiating the organization’s first capital campaign. During the food bank’s COVID-19 response, Erren led the effort in distributing nearly six million pounds of food between March and June, delivering up to five times the food bank’s regular monthly volume in that period.
“I am so proud and honored to join the team here at Feeding Westchester,” Erren said. “They have been on the forefront of hunger relief in the county for more than thirty years, and have worked tirelessly to meet unprecedented levels of need caused by the COVID-19 crisis.”
Erren comes to Feeding Westchester at a time when the food bank has responded tremendously to the increased need. Since March 1, the organization has distributed more than 12 million pounds of food, which is a year-over-year increase of 63 percent. This greater volume would not have been possible without the generous support of the Westchester community. As the impact of the global pandemic continues and unemployment numbers rise, Erren knows there is still plenty of work ahead.
“Westchester entered Phase 4 of reopening in July, but the effects of the pandemic will continue to drive the need for food,” Erren said. “We will ensure as much food as possible on as many tables as possible for as long as there is need.”