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Food Bank of Northwest Indiana Welcomes New Executive Director

Release Date - Mar 21, 2013

The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana announced today that Arleen Peterson has joined the organization as the new executive director beginning earlier this week.

Current executive director, Angie Williams, who recently announced her departure, will assist Peterson with the transition into her new role.

"The Food Bank of NWI has experienced a complete transformation under Angie's direction, and we are excited for Arleen to continue building and strengthening the critical mission of the Food Bank in serving as a link for food relief to families, the elderly, children and other individuals across the region," said Kevin De Vries, Food Bank of Northwest Indiana board president.

In 2012 the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana distributed 4.9 million pounds of food - equivalent to 4.1 million meals across Lake and Porter counties - which is up from 1.7 million pounds of food seven years ago.   Additionally, there are more programs available today than ever before to support the local community, including; the Backpack program, Kids Café, Food Rescue, Pantry on the Go and the Hope Project.Arleen Peterson has spent her career focused on helping those in need, working as a community organizer and education advocate for the last 16 years.  

Prior to joining the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Peterson served as vice president of education services for Simon Youth Foundation, managing programming related to the Simon Youth Scholarships program and the national network of Simon Youth Academies, which are non-traditional high schools primarily located in Simon malls serving at-risk youth in partnership with local public school district.

Peterson holds a degree in Psychology from Indiana University and a degree in School Counseling from Ball State University. She worked as a community organizer with U.S. President Barack Obama, then a state Senator, and other leaders in Chicago, IL at the Lugenia Burns Hope Center.

She also worked for Voices for Illinois Children, supporting a statewide marketing and community engagement campaign for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services foster care agencies. 

Peterson is a northwest Indiana native and a proud mother to her son, Myles.

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