ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – We continue to highlight the “Remarkable Women” in our communities. This week, meet Libby Campbell, the Executive Director of the West Texas Food Bank. Campbell started out as a volunteer at the food bank ten years ago and since then, she has dedicated her life to feeding hungry bodies in West Texas and beyond.
“I just thought living in West Texas, being one of the most philanthropic areas probably in the country, that there was no excuse for a child not to be able to eat,” explained Campbell. “The food bank is special, it kind of in a way saved my soul from over a couple different instances in my life.”
Most notably, she spearheaded a historic Farm Bill under the guidance of Representative Mike Conaway, and offered assistance to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. From her efforts with hurricane relief, a mobile disaster unit was established that helps food banks reach rural communities along the coast. Her dediction to feeding the hungry also won her an advocacy award by Feeding America.
Campbell says for her, it is a calling she will pass down for generations to come.
“I don’t think I’m remarkable. It makes me kind of embarassed,” explained Campbell. “I was able to be lucky enough to represent and be a voice for rural America, rural West Texans, about bringing back much needed food to our communities. But also, how do we support our agriculture community? We have to do that.”
For those who know her best, it is the ease at which she simply makes things happen, and her innate ability to lead that makes her truly remarkable.
“The only way I can describe it is that, looking at her, you just see a natural person doing what she’s supposed to be doing,” said mentee, Autumn Bohannan. “I was trying to go teach at ECISD, so I asked her for a recommendation and she was like, ‘Absolutely not, you need to be at the food bank.’ She believed in me, she believed that I was a server at heart. “
And for life-long friend, Craig Stoker, it is the decades worth of laughter, bickering, and growth, that has helped center each other.
“I saw her grow into a leader, and somebody in the community to look up to and be proud of… This is a joy. This is a passion. It’s a continuation of a friendship.”