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Food Banker Spotlight – Corina Bolo

We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on Corina Bolo from the West Prince Caring Cupboard.

What is your role in food banking?
I am on the Board of Directors for the West Prince Caring Cupboard, and have filled many roles from delivering groceries and meeting with clients, to being the treasurer for WPCC since 1992. I am also the Chairperson of the West Prince Christmas Hampers Group, which is a committee of the WPCC. All of these are volunteer roles, which have been much easier to fulfill since I retired from my “paying” job as a teacher!
 
Describe a typical day in one word. 
First off, there doesn’t seem to be such thing as a “typical” day. So….. un-expected.
 
What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
In 1989, a local physician, Dr. Terry Verma, called together a group of interested people, and made a compelling case for coordinating food services for people in need in our area.  He spoke from his personal childhood experience (he grew up poor and knew what it was to go without) and his medical practice at the time where he saw individuals and families struggling with food insecurity.  I was a founding member and have been involved with the West Prince Caring Cupboard since that time.
 
What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
Continually finding ways to “professionalize” our organization, especially in terms of finances, so as to maximize the trust between donors, our volunteers and clients. Without that trust we will fail everyone.
 
What is your greatest challenge in your current role?
Since I deal a lot with numbers and dollars, I have to constantly remind myself, and others, that those figures all represent real people – people who are hurting, in need of a “hand up”.  My heart really breaks at the number of children we serve (37% of our clients this past year) since these are the most vulnerable in our society, and they have little say in the circumstances they find themselves.
 
If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada what would it be?
I strongly believe in a guaranteed liveable income for all, which would allow individuals and families to live healthy and secure lives with dignity.
 
Which talent would you most like to have?
If you could tell your younger self advice, what would it be?
Live each day, be in the moment and don’t worry so much about what the future will bring. This is actually good advice for me now, too!
 
Who are your heroes?  Fictional or real life
Jesus, as my model for compassion and love; my parents and in-laws for teaching me about hard work and service to others; my husband, Peter, who is absolutely the most kind person I know.
 
What is your idea of happiness?
Time spent with family (especially the 4 “grands”) and friends, especially outdoors enjoying nature whether on a beach, in the woods or hiking a trail in the mountains. And then I need some “alone time” in nature as well!
 
What is your motto?
“We arrive on this planet empty handed.  We will all leave empty handed. So then how do we want to spend the time in between?” Nimo
 
Something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?
I am part of a guitar group, but I can’t play guitar! So I get to play the tambourine and the shaker….and I love it!
 
Do you know a food bank or food banker that could be featured on our next Spotlight? Contact us at communications@foodbankscanada.ca.