Lindsay Young Lopez, executive director of The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri received the Citizen of the Year award from Columbia Elks Lodge 594 on Sunday.

Terry Durnil, Exalted Ruler of Lodge 594, selected Lopez in recognition of her work at The Food Bank, a position she has held since November 2014.

A native of Fayette, Lopez leads all operational functions of The Food Bank, which employees 57 staff members. Most recently, she led her team through an audit process that resulted in The Food Bank becoming an AIB certified Food Safety Inspection Client for the first time.

Lopez has more than 18 years of experience in higher education fundraising and advancement. Prior to joining The Food Bank, she was senior director of development at Columbia College for seven years. In that role, Lopez served as campaign planning manager, spokesperson and as a member of the executive committee for the successful Tradition Meets Tomorrow Campaign, which raised a record-setting $11.1 million and constructed a state-of-the-art science building. She also served on the presidential inauguration core and steering committees, staffed the Philanthropy Committee of the Board of Trustees, served as the main contributor for the award-winning Columbia College annual report and led a team of six staff members. Lopez previously spent 11 years in Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Missouri.

The Elks Lodge honor is the latest in a string of community awards. In 2013, Lopez received the Athena Young Professional Award from the Women’s Network Division of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, she was selected to the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge.  Lopez is active in the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors.  In addition, she was selected to the 2010 Leadership Columbia class, named as co-chair of the 2011 Leadership Columbia program and named a Chamber Ambassador in 2011 She was named to the 2009 Columbia Business Times’ 20 Under 40

Lopez is a member of the Feeding Missouri Board of Directors, is past president of the King’s Daughters Donna Crockett Circle, is a former member of the Board of Directors of TRYPS Institute at Stephens College, a theatre program for children and schools, and is involved in numerous other volunteer activities in the community.

The Food Bank serves a 32-county area in central and northeast Missouri and works with 130 pantries, shelters and other partner agencies to feed, on average, 104,000 people a month. Every week during the school year, The Food Bank also provides 7,500 Buddy Packs of weekend food to children who receive free or reduced-price lunch at school.