Rev. Nancy C. Yarnell
A lifelong Southerner, Rev. Yarnell was born and raised in Chattanooga. She spent her college years in Nashville at Vanderbilt and has called Atlanta her home now for the past thirty years. Rev. Yarnell spent much of her early business career as an internal efficiency expert consultant, largely for various insurance company home offices, culminating as project manager of a software development program for insurance agencies around the country. Answering a mid-life call to ministry, Rev. Yarnell became an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church by completing foundational courses at Candler School of Theology at Emory University and earning a master’s degree in Community Counseling at Georgia State University.
Rev. Yarnell served for nine years as the Executive Director of Trinity Community Ministries where she ran a soup kitchen, Trinity Table, that weekly fed 400 people who were homeless and a transitional shelter for homeless addicts, Trinity House. During her tenure, TCM raised $3.2 million to expand Trinity House to 36 beds in a historic building in Atlanta. After a stint as Executive Director of the former Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children, Rev. Yarnell founded Food Security for America. She is a member of Northside United Methodist Church.
Although her son and daughter are now grown, to this day Rev. Yarnell remembers an “Ah-HA!” moment she had while taking an early childhood parenting class. She recalls the expert telling the class, “Never do for a child, what that child can do for herself. Even if that means a shirt may go on backwards!” Upon hearing about the innovative food distribution model in inner-city Atlanta, Rev. Yarnell thought “Why don’t many food pantries encourage perfectly capable adults to do what they can do for themselves?” Food Security for America and the FANN programs operate on this very philosophy of personal dignity, independence, and self-confidence, as lived out in a community of faith.