History of Just Food
Just Food began in the hearts of a few Lawrence community veterans who saw that a growing number of Douglas County residents were food insecure. They wanted to make a difference in the community by eradicating hunger. These founders met monthly and planned setting up a Douglas County food bank, that is, a centralized hub of food distribution that would help all of the safety net and service agencies in the county that supply food to food insecure individuals. The original mission focused on having one place in the county for all of the food to come in and then go out to agencies. In 2008 when the Obama administration passed the Economic Recovery Act and ARRA funds became available, Richard Jackson, the CEO of East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation (ECKAN, a Community Action Agency), met with the founders and decided to infuse $250,000 worth of start up funding into this program. Through the help of ECKAN, Just Food was able to open up its doors in September 2009, serving 700 people a month and partnering with two agencies to fight hunger in Douglas County. Today, Just Food and its 35+ partner agencies feed more than 8,000 people per month in Douglas County.