Caroline Babylon said giving back to the community is part of her DNA.
It’s something the Westminster native learned from her parents at a young age, and she has built her professional lifestyle around ways to help people in need.
Babylon replaced Ed Leister as executive director of Carroll County Food Sunday on Jan. 4 and said she is looking forward to networking with other organizations to further relationships in the community.
“I’ve always volunteered, so I won’t really be doing desk work like I did in the past,” Babylon said. “I get to be out in the community, building existing relationships and new relationships with both those who are in need and those who can help and putting them together.”
Food Sunday distributes a weekly, nutritionally balanced grocery package based on household size and is meant to last three to four days. These packages include meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, bread and milk. The organization serves about 450 families per week at locations in Westminster, Eldersburg and Taneytown.
Babylon, 66, was a member of the first graduating class at Westminster High School when it relocated to Washington Road in 1972. She graduated from McDaniel College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and economics and attended the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin.
She worked as a bank examiner at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation before returning to Westminster in 1986 and, before retiring last month, worked at MidAtlantic Farm Credit, ACA, as an auditor since 2002.
Babylon’s extensive experience included designing and conducting internal audits and examinations of credit, finance and other operations.
As Food Sunday enters its 40th year of operations, Babylon hopes to build on Leister’s decade of service to the organization in maintaining its fundraising efforts and financial stability.
“Ed Leister has done a wonderful job as executive director,” Babylon said. “He’s built it up, built the recognition in the community and the support from the community to really let us make a difference to those who need it.
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“It’s exciting for me to be able to do that.”
Food Sunday regularly purchases food from the Maryland Food Bank, but the coronavirus pandemic caused a shortage in certain food items that made distribution difficult for community members in need of meals for their families.
Babylon said she wants to make sure everybody knows Food Sunday will still provide help. The organization, which has pantry locations in Westminster, Eldersburg and Taneytown, receives support from grocery stores such as Kennie’s Market in Taneytown and Miller’s in Manchester.
“We want to make it certain that we are meeting all the needs with a pandemic,” Babylon said. “Those needs have changed some, not just the diversity of the needs, but there are people now who need food just because they’ve lost jobs or things have changed.”
Food Sunday thrives on its volunteer support and held a pantry at Grace Lutheran Church last spring. Babylon volunteered at that pantry, where she first learned about Food Sunday and its efforts.
She volunteers for the Finance Committee of Grace Lutheran Church and serves on a number of community boards as treasurer. She is a member of the Disaster Team with the American Red Cross, an instructor at a therapeutic horseback riding program, among others, and has received numerous awards and community recognition for her efforts.
“It’s important for all of us to give back,” Babylon said. “We’ve all been very blessed.”