Henry (Hank) A. Wadsworth
“Henry,” the father said, “it’s the Depression. We live on this small New York dairy farm and we don’t have a lot of money. But you will always have food.”
The son, who was Henry only to his parents and Hank to everyone else, is now 73. In his role as chairman of the Food Finders Food Bank in Lafayette, Ind., Hank Wadsworth is now making that same promise to thousands of Hoosiers who depend on the food bank on a daily basis.
Last year, the food bank distributed more than 2.5 million pounds of food to 180 food pantries in 16 north-central Indiana counties.
However, distributing food to food pantries was not what Wadsworth had planned in 1999 when he retired as the director of Purdue Extension.
But before the journey with Food Finders began, Wadsworth had an impressive career in the Cooperative Extension Service.
After college (Cornell BS ’56, MS ’58, PhD ’62), he worked in the Purdue Department of Agricultural Economics as an Extension specialist in farm management and community development from 1962 to 1973.
Wadsworth moved back to Indiana and was the Extension director from 1983 to 1999. He also served as an Indiana State Fair director for those 16 years.
He has been a volunteer for the museum at Historic Prophetstown and a trustee at Federated Church. He does all of this, as well as his Food Finders obligations, while overseeing his small farm outside of Attica.