PHARR - What was an ongoing process since June, when a recruiter planted the idea in Ron Meijerink's head on whether or not he would consider joining the Food Bank of The Rio Grande Valley, has now come to fruition.
Meijerink has accepted to become the food bank's new Chief Executive Officer, the third in the 32-year history of the non-profit. As CEO, Meijerink will oversee roughly 60 employees with a network of 275 partner agencies helping feed 64,000 people on a weekly basis in Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties.
Currently the Food Bank receives plenty of in-kind donations but Meijerink would like to increase monetary donations to buy equipment, which will help the operations become more efficient.
“If we can get more efficient I think we could double how many people we serve,” he said.
The new chief hit the ground running when he was hired and most recently he was part of a group that helped pass out produce. In the two weeks though he has realized most people do not really know what the food bank has to offer.
“People think we're collecting cans and distributing cans,” he said.
Awareness will be key, Meijerink thinks there is not enough. Through several mediums Meijerink will tell people how the food bank operates. He believes if people know what the food bank is doing, the general public will show more support.
Meijerink was previously served as the Director of Retail Operations for Goodwill Industries of South Texas. He was born and raised in the Netherlands.