By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Aug 26, 2014 at 4:01 PM

After 23 years of leading Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin in its hunger relief efforts, president Bonnie Bellehumeur has announced she will retire Dec. 31.

In 1991, Bellehumeur started with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin – then America’s Second Harvest of Wisconsin. At the time, the organization was distributing 8.5 million pounds of food per year and raising $346,000 annually.

Last year, under Bellehumeur’s leadership, the food bank distributed 22.5 million pounds of food and raised more than $5 million.

During the past 23 years, she has overseen the distribution of 293 million meals and raised more than $52 million dollars. Nearly 330,000 people in eastern Wisconsin rely on food supplied by Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin each year.

The food bank is the largest nonprofit distributor of food in the state.

"During her impressive tenure as president, Bonnie has driven exponential growth in donations and support directly benefiting generations of people in our state. She’s led organizational improvement in essentially every key metric including the mission and culture while developing an outstanding management team well positioned to carry on the effort to feed the hungry," says board chairman Ted Balistreri.

Bellehumeur’s professional accomplishments include the Denali Fellowship, a scholarship in the inaugural Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Governor Thompson’s appointment to the Board on Hunger, The Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award, The Greater Milwaukee Nonprofit Management Award and Marquette University’s Person for Others Award.

"Bonnie’s work in our city and around the region has made this a better place. She retires from an organization that she has strengthened in a way that it will continue to address a fundamental need for thousands of people. It has been a pleasure to work with Bonnie, and I wish her the best in retirement," says Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett.

Bellehumeur will continue on in the role as the Board completes a confidential, executive search assisted by MRA – The Management Association.