Food Banker Spotlight – John Bailey

January 01, 2022

We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on John Bailey from the Regina Food Bank.

What is your role in food banking? 
CEO, Regina Food Bank

Describe a typical day in one word.  

What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
After spending time in the private sector, the opportunity to return to non-profit was not something I was looking for, but when the opportunity to get involved with an organization that has had such a profound impact over so many years came up I decided to look at the opportunity.  After doing a bit o research and seeing the depth and breadth of the work I decided to jump in with both feet. 

What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
The greatest achievement I have had in my role was and is the response our team has had to the pandemic.  We have adapted our service delivery, enhanced our choice offerings, and served more people all while dealing the with the uncertainty and stress brought on by Covid 19.  

What is your greatest challenge in your current role? 
Making sure our team knows that they are supported. Each and every person who works at a food bank right now has a double burden, the intense pressure of providing support to some of the most vulnerable in our community and when they leave work they face the onslaught stressors from living through a pandemic in their personal lives. The challenge of making sure they feel meaningful supports is one of the things that keeps me up at night.  

If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada what would it be?
That we could stop talking about scarcity, more food is not the answer to food insecurity. If we stop worrying about not having enough food we could start focusing on things that will make a difference, raising the income available to people and addressing the systemic barriers that are keeping the food we do produce out of peoples hands.  

Which talent would you most like to have? 
I can’t touch type, I wish I could but I hunt and peck.   

If you could tell your younger self advice, what would it be?
If everything is the most important thing then nothing can be a priority.  Choose carefully what you what you invest time, emotion, and energy in because you can’t fix everything.  

Who are your heroes?  Fictional or real life
John Heilemann, David Chang, Joan Ganz Cooney, Anthony Bourdain 

What is your idea of happiness?
A day when I can find calm. I don’t handle sedentary very well but so my calm will generally involves movement but it when I can be present in the moment I am at my happiest. 

What is your motto?
Once you get something moving it is easier to keep moving. 

Something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?
I consume between 137 mg and 300 mg of caffeine a day. 

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