Gary and Debi Kelso met while serving at Shepherd's House together in early 2007. Debi, who had lived in Bend for 25 years, recently retired from the school district. Gary, a former Wisconsin business owner, had completed a discipleship program at Salem's Union Gospel Mission before helping open Shepherd's House in 2005. "While serving together, our eyes were opened to the need our community had for food relief," says Debi. The two decided to do what they could to help.  After a great deal of thought and prayer, they used Debi's savings to fund The Giving Plate’s startup fees and expenses.  This was all around the time that Central Oregon experienced an unexpected economic downturn that left hundreds without jobs.  In those first months, they were often reminded of the story of the young boy who gave his five loaves of bread and two fish over to Jesus who in turn took it to feed over 5,000 individuals.  In many ways they felt like that boy by giving the little they had, and in amazement watching that expand in the hands of Jesus, to help and serve a need that was bigger than they ever realized or thought possible.  It was clear from the start that this outreach was all a part of God's timing and plan.  Gary & Debi have been committed to “rescuing” food and making it accessible to those in need ever since, and they purpose to provide that food to those in need with the same love and compassion Jesus had on the crowds that He fed with the 5 loaves and 2 fish.


Board Members




Co-Founder, Interim Chairman of the Board | 541.410.3621


Secretary of the Board | 541.728.0521



Board Director | 541.213.6044


Melissa Ford

Board Director | 530.524.0442


Executive Team



Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director | 541-410-3086



Co-Executive Director | 541-771-1194