Our Founder & CEO
Gary VanDyke, Food for Orphans' founder and visionary, began helping orphans in 1999. As the father of five, Gary has always had a heart for the needs of children. But in 1999, he was invited by a large chidren's charity to visit several children's projects in Lima, Peru. Gary says that "To watch the pain of these children's suffering was impossible for me to bear. My life was changed forever."
Professionally, Gary had a long career in radio and television as a show host, production specialist, voice artist, writer, producer, and news anchor. But it was his experiences during that mission trip to the slums of Lima, Peru that shaped his future. He saw evidence of true poverty and used his platform in radio as a way to help the children. Later while working for a child and orphan advocacy ministry, Gary visited international projects, evaluated their needs, helped to train the staff, and communicated the children's needs to people back home. As he visited more and more orphans, Gary was touched by their helplessness and innocence. He was constantly wounded by the poor health and physical condition of the orphans he met. When asked what their biggest challenge was, orphan caregivers repeatedly said "The lack of food." Gary knew that he could not continue to stand immobile while orphans starved. Knowing that something had to be done, he began to create an organization that would address the orphans most pressing and urgent need … food.
Michael Robison, Food For Orphan's President and Executive Director, began serving orphans in 1996 in Europe. Since that time Michael has served orphans in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean. Michael has served in development and directional leadership for multiple international orphan care organizations. During that time Michael has helped to start churches, schools and orphanages primarily in Haiti. Michael is based out of Franklin, TN and helps connect leaders from all over the world!
Michael has served as a private business owner, lead pastor and ministry strategist. Michael has a passion to reach and serve the least likely in the world. Michael and his family have taken orphan care to a personal level at home though international adoption. Their family has adopted from Ethiopia and from Haiti. Michael has a passion to see children loved and served. The simple and powerful mission of Food for Orphans deeply resounds with Michael and his family.