Food Banker Spotlight – Pam Stanley

We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on Pam Stanley, Executive Director of Just Friends Food Bank in Stanley, New Brunswick.  

What is your role in food banking?

My role as Executive Director of Just Friends Food Bank is to ensure the efficient running of the food bank and resource centre, serving our clients with kindness, compassion, and without judgment.

What are your pronouns?


Describe a typical day in one word.


What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?

I first began volunteering at a food bank about 20 years ago when I lived in Ontario. I did it to help give back and keep me busy when my children first started school (I was a stay-at-home mom for a few years). While raising a family, I realized that there can be a huge gap between what people have and what people need. I have seen the struggle firsthand, and I consider it a privilege to be able to help others. When we moved to New Brunswick, Just Friends Food Bank was in a room on the upper level of the building my apartment was in, and my family and I started volunteering with them right away. The food bank was entirely volunteer-run, but when they moved into their new building in 2019, they were able to hire a part-time employee. I began working for them, and we haven’t looked back! I am proud of the work we do and the positive impact it has on our small rural community.

What is your greatest achievement in your current role?

Being one of the first organizations to have achieved Food Banks Canada’s Standards of Excellence for our little rural food bank.

What is your greatest challenge in your current role?

The greatest challenge for me is a lack of adequate and consistent operational funding. With better support, I know we could be more efficient in our operations and more effective in serving our community.

If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada, what would it be?

My one wish is a better life for all: a basic income, adequate housing, better social support, including mental health, and “real-world” education.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Public speaking. I can give the same speech 100 times but not once to a room full of 100.

If you could give your younger self advice, what would it be?

Open your eyes! Own your voice! Be observant and pay attention to the details. Ask the tough questions, and don’t ever be afraid to be direct and speak the truth. I often reflect that if I had received this advice 20 years ago, I could have done more to help people sooner.

Who are your heroes?  Fictional or real-life.

My children, hands down!

What is your idea of happiness?

For me personally, happiness includes my children, a job I enjoy, and financial stability (I’m still working on that one—ha!). My idea of happiness overall includes enough food to eat, a roof over your head, basic income, and companionship (whether that is 2 feet or 4). 

What is your motto?

There is so much more to ending poverty and eliminating hunger than just feeding people. The more programs and resources we can provide, the better support overall.

Something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?

Sometimes, I get way too happy and excited about the smallest things that most people wouldn’t give a second thought to—like a $50 thrift store shelf upgrade, being approved for grants, having our deliveries arrive early, or seeing the standards certificate in person for the first time.

Your theme song?

Humble and Kind – Tim McGraw