Home Blog August 2021 Food Banker Spotlight – Sue McKeown

Food Banker Spotlight – Sue McKeown

Food Banker Spotlight – Sue McKeown
We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on Sue McKeown from The Salvation Army - Swift Current in Saskatchewan.

What is your role in food banking?
I am the Community and Family Services worker for The Salvation Army in Swift Current Saskatchewan. I manage the daily operations of the Food Bank as well as supervise 3 teams of volunteers.

Describe a typical day in one word.

What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
I know from personal experience the need for Food Banks. When my mom, my brother and I immigrated to Canada from the USA in 1977 (I was 5 years old) we relied on both The Salvation Army and the Regina, SK Food Bank for help until my Mom was able to get a full time job.

What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
Revamping the Food Bank into a shopping model, including creating the plano grams and the floor plan of the new set up. This drastically reduced wait times for clients needing assistance.

What is your greatest challenge in your current role?
Educating donors about the necessity for “newly purchased” food donations from a food drive. A food drive is not an opportunity to clean out their cupboards and donate food that is over two years old. We will just throw it away, which also increases our costs of waste disposal.

If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada what would it be?
The realization that Food Banks are a small part of a very large picture of low income needs in Canada. Many clients are challenged by addictions, mental health and physical health issues, budgeting issues, learning issues etc. If these challenges could be met and resolved as a whole; with the many different services available, it would be a true blessing.

Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to speak many languages to be able to better communicate with all our clients.

If you could tell your younger self advice, what would it be?
It’s alright to ask for help if you need it. Don’t worry about things that you don’t have control over. Make it a habit of shutting down conversations that aim to tear others down. Learn financial literacy as soon as possible.

Who are your heroes? Fictional or real life.
Jesus Christ is one of my heroes. He served the poor, the downtrodden and the outcasts without judgment but with an abundance of grace and knowledge.

What is your idea of happiness?
Being surrounded by loving and caring people who strive to support each other everyday.

What is your motto?
The only time you should look down on another human being is if you are offering them your hand to lift them up.

Something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?
I wanted to be a forensic detective for the RCMP when I was growing up, now I’m a true crime fanatic.

Your theme song?
I have a theme song for every part of my life. My theme song for work is “We Shall Be Free” by Garth Brooks.

Do you know a food bank or food banker that could be featured on our next Spotlight? Contact us at communications@foodbankscanada.ca.

Don’t miss!

Hunger Facts



of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)