After 20 years as president and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank, Jan Pruitt is leaving her position to spend time with loved ones as she deals with advanced cancer.
“Rather than continue with her medical treatment, and in consultation with her doctors, she has chosen to spend time with family and friends in the comfort of her home,” Tom Black, the agency’s board chairman, said in a statement issued Thursday afternoon.
Pruitt has been fighting cancer for more than a year. As the Dallas Business Journal reported, she originally took a temporary leave of absence in July to focus on her health.
A former stay-at-home mom inspired to enter nonprofit work after a call from her priest, she rose into leadership roles with the food bank and became board chairwoman for Feeding America.
“Jan has played an important role in hunger relief in North Texas and throughout the United States and has left an indelible mark on the mission of both organizations,” Black said.
The food bank’s chief operating officer, Simon Powell, who has been serving as interim CEO, will remain until a successor for Pruitt can be found.
Under Pruitt, the 34-year-old organization came to focus on serving healthier food, researching hunger and its effects, and making its distribution process more efficient.
“Business people on our board, they like to see growth charts,” Pruitt said in a 2012 interview. “And when I show them our charts, I say, ‘This is not good news.’ We are the grocery supply for so many people.”
Last year, Pruitt and her team launched a 10-year plan to provide 92 million meals annually for hungry North Texans by 2025.
Well-wishers who want to share their thoughts with Pruitt can do so by visiting http://ntfb.org/janpruitt.