Reverend Ann Johnson is stepping down after eight years as the president of the Graham County Interfaith Care Alliance (GCICA) Board so she can spend more time on her many other interests. GCICA runs both Our Neighbors Pantry, a food bank, and Our Neighbors Farm, a source of locally grown produce for food bank clients.
Rev. Johnson was an original GCICA board member in 2004 and has been the board’s president ever since. She has overseen Our Neighbors’ Pantry, taking on the role of distributing commodities to other food banks in Graham and Greenlee Counties as well as local nonprofits such as SEACUS and Mount Graham Safe House. She has also overseen the food bank’s growth from serving 60 families per month in 2005 to more than 550 families per month currently. “That means that about 2,100 people receive monthly food boxes because of her efforts,” said Sherri Clixby, Our Neighbors’ Pantry manager.
Also under Rev. Johnson’s tenure, the food bank began working with other governmental agencies to ensure clients are well cared for. “The Graham County Health Depart-ment,” observed Pastor Bob Holliday, the GCICA’s interim president, “comes to us to ensure that children in the families we serve are properly vaccinated.”
Rev. Johnson is involved in many other Gila Valley organizations, including Foster Care Review Board, First Things First Council, All Saints Episcopal Church and Bylas food box projects.
An open house will be held honoring Rev. Johnson on Nov. 8 from 3-5pm at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall located at the corner of 10th Avenue and 10th Street in Safford. Food bank clients, friends of Rev. Johnson, and community members in general are invited.