Diana Loar, Food Bank Director, Retires
CUMBERLAND — The color purple is often associated with royalty.
It’s also Western Maryland Food Bank Executive Director Diana Loar’s favorite color.
And by the sound of co-workers and friends who attended a retirement celebration in her honor on Thursday, it was clear many think of Loar as royalty.
“I think we’re losing a great lady,” said Chuck Koelker, the food bank’s board of directors president.
“When you think of the food bank, you think of Diana Loar.”
Loar started the food bank 35 years ago as a small operation at Greise Brothers Market in Cumberland.
For Loar, serving others is a family tradition.
“It all started because my family had a boys group home up on Long Stretch,” Loar said, “and I was the food service supervisor.”
Her family accepted items from the Maryland Food Bank for the group home. Retrieving those items at a local church was Loar’s responsibility.
“It happened that I not only came to get food for the group home, but that they needed help to get it unloaded,” she said, “so I would bring boys to help them unload.”
On Tuesday, when Loar officially retires, she will leave a 20,000-square foot warehouse on Bedford Street as her legacy, an operation that has served millions of pounds of food to community members and supporting nearly 100 local organizations.
“I feel like it’s been a mission that I have accomplished,” she said.
Amy Moyer, a food bank employee who handles food drives and fundraisers, will serve as interim director.
“It’s hard,” Moyer said of Loar’s departure. “We’re like family.”
Moyer, who was hired at the food bank in 1989, now has 29 years with the organization.
She praised Loar for her accomplishments.
“Without a doubt, the food bank would not be here without her,” Moyer said. “She has helped it grow into what it is today. Just the fact that we are sitting here in this nice, clean building, is her work. It’s been a labor of love for her.”
It’s no surprise many think highly of Loar. She returned those thanks during her celebration. Her request — treat members of the community as they’ve treated her.
“I just want to say, may you continue to be in the community what you have been to me,” Loar said.
Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.
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