Tonight the Food Bank is honoring our Hunt-Morgridge Service Awardees, Jack and Mary Hofler, for their lifetime of service to the Food Bank and their community. Read on to hear their story and how they fueled our mission for more than 20 years.


Jack and Mary Hofler moved to Raleigh in the 1960s when Jack was asked by his sister and family to assume the leadership of Institutional Food Company, which provided food to school systems to feed children throughout the state.  Jack made the move from Washington, D.C., where he lived after serving in the Army in WWII and graduating from Wake Forest College. He served as the President of the Institutional Food Company for more than 30 years. Jack and his numerous brothers and sisters grew up in Gatesville, NC. With 13 in the family and growing up through the Depression and war, everyone worked to put food on the table and to help others.

Mary Hofler was raised in Paris, Tennessee by her parents, who were both teachers, and always stressed the importance of hard work and giving back. Mary graduated from the University of Tennessee and became a pediatric RN at Duke and later in Washington, D.C. Mary retired as an RN after their two children were born, but she remained active in their school, church, and community. Both Mary and Jack were active members of and served in leadership roles at White Memorial Presbyterian Church for nearly 50 years.

In 1996 the Hofler’s began discussions with the Food Bank about the possibilities of donating the warehouse they owned at 3808 Tarheel Drive to help the Food Bank expand and meet the growing need. Jack and Mary loved being able to give something of magnitude to help the important cause of feeding those who are hungry, and that year, the Food Bank opened our new Raleigh Branch on Tarheel Drive, which still serves as our headquarters today.

Food Bank Dedication Ceremony 5.16.97

Following the building dedication in 1996, Jack and Mary remained in contact with and supportive of the Food Bank. They made several gifts of significant impact to the Food Bank. The first–placing the building on Tarheel Drive in a Charitable Trust and donating it to the Food Bank–was something they were able to experience through the joy of its growth and fulfillment of mission. The second, a sizable gift of more than $800,000, was planned and donated prior to Jack’s death in 2013 and Mary’s death this year.

We are eternally grateful to the Hoflers for their compassion, generosity, and partnership for more than 20 years. We pass on this appreciation to their family of two grown children, Margaret Ann Hofler of Winston-Salem, NC and John Hofler of Florence, SC, three grandchildren, and one great grandson, and look forward to recognizing the family tonight at our annual Evening of Appreciation event.

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina established the Hunt-Morgridge Service Award in 2010, coinciding with the Food Bank’s 30th Anniversary. This award recognizes extraordinary leadership and dedication to hunger relief efforts. With heartfelt gratitude and deep admiration for deeds sung and unsung in distinguished years of service to their fellow citizens, the Food Bank instituted the award in the name of The Honorable James B. Hunt, Jr., former Governor of the State of North Carolina, and John P. Morgridge, Chairman Emeritus of Cisco. Former recipients include Ron E. and Jeanette Doggett in 2011, and Barbara Oates in 2012, the Reverend Haywood Holderness in 2013, and Ashmead P. Pipkin in 2014.