Food Banker Spotlight – Lenetta Parry of Central Okanagan Food Bank

We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on Lenetta Parry, Executive Director of Central Okanagan Food Bank in British Columbia.

What is your role in food banking?
As the Executive Director I am responsible for the day to day operations of the organization, including the management of staff, volunteers and committees as well as developing strategic plans with my Board of Directors, promoting public awareness, reaching food and fundraising targets and being an advocate, voice and friend to those we serve. 

Describe a typical day in one word. 

What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
Ever since I was a small child, my family volunteered together, therefore I was exposed to giving back at a very young age. I believe the Food Bank chose me, I did not choose it. I was born to help others and make a difference.

What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
Amalgamating the Westside Community Food Bank and the Kelowna Community Food Bank into one charitable organization – the Central Okanagan Food Bank was a huge achievement.  The amalgamation has made us a more effective and efficient organization, benefiting our clients, donors and community.

What is your greatest challenge in your current role?
The most challenging part of my position is knowing kids are going to school hungry, parents are skipping meals so that their child might eat and seniors are going to bed without dinner. It breaks my heart.

If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada what would it be?
I wish everyone had access to healthy, nutritious, culturally appropriate food so that food banks and other hunger relief organizations did not exist.  

Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I could play the guitar.

If you could tell your younger self advice, what would it be?
You are going to fail and that is ok. Learn from it and keep moving forward. 

Who are your heroes? Fictional or real life.
My dad is my hero. He taught me the value of hard work, to give back, to be a blessing to others, to love unconditionally, to make others laugh, I love the way he loves my mom (after 49 years and counting), I love the way he tells a story, treats strangers and he always has faith in me.

What is your idea of happiness?
At the risk of sounding cheesy, Happiness is loving what you have and being grateful. 

What is your motto?
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

Something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?
My food cannot touch.

Your favourite movie?
Top Gun.

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