ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Natasha Thompson, President and CEO of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, has been named the 2021 New York State Senate “Woman of Distinction”.

Thompson represents State Senator Tom O’Mara’s 58th District as part of the 23rd annual celebration. More than 60 other women have also been honored in senatorial districts around New York.

“For more than two decades, she has remained devoted to a life’s work of serving those in need throughout the Southern Tier region and  I am proud to pay this tribute to her contributions as a leader and a tireless advocate,” O’Mara said. “Natasha’s trademark optimism, selflessness, and unwavering belief in the Food Bank’s mission have always stood out for so many of us, but her leadership guiding the work of the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been an inspiring lifeline and an undeniable foundation of hope for residents and families across this region.”

In 2017, under Thompson’s leadership, the Food Bank was recognized as “Food Bank of the Year” by Feeding America.

In 2020, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier saw a large increase in demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thompson successfully adapted to the unprecedented challenges and led her team to a record-breaking distribution of 17.6 million pounds of food, 40% more than 2019.