New President & CEO Brings Compassion, Experience to Fight Food Insecurity in Southeastern Virginia, Eastern Shore, and Western Tidewater

Categories : Agency News & Events, Press Room


Norfolk, VA—April 18, 2022 — The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore is pleased to announce the appointment of its new President and CEO, Christopher Tan. Christopher comes to the Foodbank from Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia where he has served as CEO for the past nine years, and as COO for the two years prior. Having spent more than two decades in the human services field, he has been focused on serving and enhancing the lives of families through caring and compassionate leadership.

During Chris’ last five years at Catholic Charities, he led a team that increased the size of their foundation by almost 300 percent and increased the number of families served from 6,400 to over 10,000 per year. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Randolph-Macon College and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University.

“I could not be more excited about this opportunity to serve, and I will work hard to be worthy of the honor,” says Chris. “And it really is an honor. It’s an honor that we all share at the Foodbank. The only thing that’s ever changed another person’s life in the history of the world is the care and compassion of another human being. Food is such a universal thing. One of the greatest ways we can show love and affection is through food. It creates a human connection. To be a part of an organization that creates 14 million connections every year is humbling, inspiring, and an amazing responsibility.”

“We are so fortunate to have Chris at the helm of our organization,” says Foodbank Board Chair Tonya Walley. “His 20+ years of experience, coupled with his servant leadership style and passion for our mission, employees, and the communities we serve will bode well for the Foodbank.  Chris is the right leader to help us realize our vision of feeding the line while unearthing root causes of food insecurity. I couldn’t be happier that he accepted. “

With soaring food costs and inflation driving prices up on just about everything, Chris knows that he’s taking the helm during challenging times. “We are in the midst of a perfect storm,” he says. “The number of people seeking assistance is on the rise and supply chain issues are making it difficult to meet the need. However, we will not be discouraged. We are going to feed the line, and through our efforts to address the root causes of hunger, we will work to end the line. It’s a line no one wants to be in, and you cannot possibly underestimate the joy a person experiences when they step out of that line and onto the path of self-sufficiency.”

About the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore

For more than 40 years, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore has provided over 350 million meals to those in our community who face hunger. Through our programs, facilities, and large network of community partners, we “eliminate hunger” on a daily basis for many. However, we understand that our current work addresses hunger for individuals in the short term. It does not address the root causes which force individuals to return to a food pantry again and again. This understanding has led to the creation of a 3-year strategic plan aimed to move Hampton Roads closer to achieving the mission of eliminating hunger for those we serve—not only for the day, or for the week, but for a lifetime. For up-to-date information on the Foodbank, visit, Facebook, or Twitter.