Nigel Perrot is stepping down as manager of Middlesbrough Foodbank which he helped set up in September 2012.
He is being replaced by Soroush Sadeghzadeh who will take over the running of the project which is based at the St Cuthbert’s Centre on Whitehouse Street, West Lane.
The charity began with a small number of boxes of donated food in a temporary store and has now grown to stock over 10,000 tonnes of food in its permanent depot.
It has developed distribution centres across the town and works with hundreds of churches and organisations to collect and distribute food and takes referrals from 75 agencies that rely on the charity to offer support to people in crisis.
Every week around 100 people receive emergency food parcels to help them through a difficult time in their life.
Heather Black, Chair of Trustees of Middlesbrough Foodbank, said: “From the very beginning Nigel has been the public face of the charity and we have often joked about him being known as ‘Mr Foodbank’.
“We are deeply thankful to him for all the hard work and commitment that he has given to the Foodbank. Nigel was willing to roll up his sleeves and take the vision for a Foodbank through early fragile beginnings to a well-established and respected charity in the town.
“He has built up a fantastic team of volunteers and has frequently gone the extra mile to ensure people in need are fed.
“Whilst it is sad to see Nigel leave, we are delighted to welcome Soroush as the new manager.”
Mr Sadeghzadeh has previous experience of working with people in need through Open Door North East, which works with asylum seekers and refugees, and also the Hope Foundation.
His role as manager is being funded through a grant from Middlesbrough Council.
The authority’s Executive lead for welfare reform, Cllr Tracy Harvey, said: “Nigel deserves a huge thank you from us all for the fantastic work he has performed and the countless number of people who he has helped not go hungry in the last three years.
“Everyone at Middlesbrough Foodbank performs to provide a brilliant service which sadly has become necessary in recent times and we’re sure Soroush will help that to continue.”