Arkansas Foodbank CEO Phyllis Haynes to Retire

Phyllis Haynes, CEO of the Arkansas Foodbank, confirmed Thursday that she plans to retire June 30.

Haynes, 65, has worked for Arkansas' largest provider of nongovernmental hunger relief since 1999.

As CEO, she led the food bank in more than doubling its distribution of food to hungry Arkansans through a network of more than 270 food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and child feeding programs.

Also under Haynes' leadership, the food bank opened a $10 million distribution center in May 2011 in Little Rock.

"It's been an absolutely wonderful experience," Haynes said. "I'm really, really proud of the fact that we doubled distribution."

The food bank's board has completed a nationwide search for candidates to replace Haynes and started the interview process.

Haynes has served as a member of the National Council of Feeding America and of the Technology Governance Board of Feeding America.

Before working for the food bank, Haynes served for 16 years as executive director of Arkansas Able, a nonprofit helping older Arkansans find jobs.

Originally from Miami, Haynes said she plans to stay in Arkansas. She would like to continue working in the nonprofit sector, but not in a full-time capacity.

"We know that life brings new changes and we want Phyllis to know how valuable and long lasting her work has been," said Amy Rossi, president of the Arkansas Foodbank Board of Directors, in a statement. "We will forever be grateful for her boundless energy, vision and passion to reduce hunger in the lives of countless Arkansans."