Home Blog January 2017 Spotlight on Food Banking …. With Marilyn Herrmann

Spotlight on Food Banking …. With Marilyn Herrmann

Spotlight on Food Banking …. With Marilyn Herrmann
Introducing a new feature on our blog which profiles individuals in food banking across Canada!
Read more about Marilyn Herrmann who is the Executive Director of the Surrey Food Bank. 

What is your role in food banking?
Advocate for those who need a ‘hand-up’ and often struggle alone. They need help and we should be there.

Describe a typical day. 
NO two days are alike. I always tell this to potential employees…you may the “manager of whatever” in this organization, but put a pair of closed toed shoes and jeans under your desk. We may need you to do what we are all here to do… distribute food to help those who are struggling to feed their families.

What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
My many different life experiences and careers prepared me for the world of food banking. I was a teacher (public speaking and the desire to share information); single mum with three children under the age of five (boy do I understand what it is to be a low income single parent!!); logistics experience in the food industry (I knew how to run a warehouse and transport food); I am a ‘catalyst for change’ and want to see others experience the best life possible.

What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
Building and rebuilding teams of employees who ‘get it’ and work for the food bank with compassion, passion and empathy for those who need our support.

What is your greatest challenge in your current role?
Dispelling myths of who needs a food bank. For the past 17 years I have tried to spread the word that those who use a food bank are our neighbors… people like you and I…they live on our neighbourhoods.

If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada what would it be?
Everyone in Canada have adequate money to meet their basic needs. I mean basic…. I don’t think that’s expecting too much… most in our society today have more than they need, but everyone should have the resources needed to at least meet the basics of life.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I’ve always wanted a beautiful singing voice… but that didn’t happen,  much to my regret!! I would love to try to be an actor. I have been told I am very good at public speaking and media but I would love to go on the stage and try to recreate some eccentric character or be someone I’m not.

If you could tell your younger self advice, what would it be?
Just do it! Every experience in life prepares you for something down the road – often something that becomes your passion.

Who are your heroes?  Fictional or real life
People who make a difference for others – not matter how large or small a difference.

What is your idea of happiness?
 “People will forget what you did, people will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I try to make others never forget how I make them feel. To me that’s happiness, along with my love of nature and all the wonders this natural world has to offer and gifts to us every day.

What is your motto?
 “I judge myself not be what I have….but by what I am willing to give.”

Don’t miss!

Hunger Facts



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