Food Banker Spotlight – Gert Reynar, Leduc & District Food Bank Association

We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on Gert Reynar from the Leduc & District Food Bank Association in Leduc, AB.

What is your role in food banking?
I have been the Executive Director of the Leduc & District Food Bank Association for 14 years. We serve seven municipalities within the county of Leduc and a population of approximately 85,000 people.

Describe a typical day in one word.

What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
I knew nothing about food banking but thought, “I would like to give back to the community”. I started by touring other food banks and educating myself on what a food bank is. This role challenges me daily, teaches me a lot and has made me a better human being. It’s been a very humbling experience.

What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
My biggest achievements would be being part of the growth and development of food banking as a whole. The ability to develop programs to help people become self-sufficient and increase their quality of life. Our kitchen and life-skills centre has resulted in some amazing outcomes, in particular, decreasing dependency on food bank usage and being able to move into a larger facility.

What is the greatest challenge in your current role?
One of the greatest challenges is the lack of constant funding, in particular, government funding. Economic instability that affects the increased need of food bank services while dealing with decreased food and fund support.

If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada, what would it be?
One wish I would have granted would be that the government offered access to more training programs or funding for support and transportation for families and individuals. I would also wish for better ability for agencies to work collaboratively together.

What talent would you most like to have?
There are so many to choose from but I would go with music. I love it but I don’t have a musical bone in my body.

If you could tell your younger self some advice, what would it be?
Life is short, make the most of it. Do things in life that you enjoy and that you can be proud of.

Who are your heroes? Fictional or real life.
My heroes are the volunteers, donors and supporters who give their time and funds so freely to make sure we are able to do what we do in our community.

What is your idea of happiness?
My idea of happiness is being able to make a positive difference and doing the things that make you happy.

What is your motto?
My motto is, “Never say no”. One simple thing can lead to greater things and I tell my staff regularly, “If 80% of our volunteers can get the job done right 80% of the time, that’s 80% less that we have to do”.

What’s something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?
My two passions are a nice warm bath and my remote car starter for those Canadian winter days.

What’s your theme song?
“If I Had a Million Dollars” by Barenaked Ladies.

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