Food Banker Spotlight – Rebecca Burke

We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on Rebecca Burke from the Labrador Ministerial Food Bank.

What is your role in food banking?
I am the Food Bank Coordinator
Overseeing daily orders, ensuring volunteer duties are completed, ordering – basically anything that needs to be done to make sure the foodbank runs as efficiently as possible

Describe a typical day in one word. 
Either it be through serving clients, or preparing the food bank items to serve, Christmas Hampers or chatting to the volunteers – each one as important as the next!

What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
When my son went to school, while already involved in other volunteer groups, I wanted to help give back. I started off being a volunteer and then worked my way into the job I have today. I have 7 years at this role, and will be hard pressed to find another job as rewarding.

What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
Adapting to our large demand increase since I began was amazing – we increased over 100% in usage over those years, and making positive changes, in the food we offer – some fresh. Navigating covid and not having to close for one day during the pandemic. WE MADE IT WORK, and I am so proud of that!

What is your greatest challenge in your current role?
While we are very fortunate to have great supporters the cost of food is, I would think, our number one challenge. We try to give out the same food to the clients, as we know if they are coming here they are in need. So the increase is, in turn, costing us more to provide our same service.

If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada what would it be?
While there is not one fix to address hunger nationwide, I think access to fresh foods would be instrumental in helping. The healthier people eat, the less illnesses they may have, meaning less medications and it snowballs in a beneficial way. While we cannot decide how people spend money it would be wonderful if those in need had access to a food supplement to ensure they had money for food. Food insecurity is a real thing, between the cost of living, families and life in general – often times there isn’t much left over for people to sustain a wholesome diet.

Which talent would you most like to have?
 Public speaking! 
The confidence that can come from being able to capture a room and have them actively listen to what you say, to me could be a game changer. 
No matter how well put together my thoughts are I often struggle with getting up in front of a crowd – which is ironic, because I am a talker, boy am I ever a talker!

If you could tell your younger self advice, what would it be?
Dreams Change, Life Happens! 
We all have plans and often look at changes to that as a negative thing. As long as the end goal brings happiness and peace and puts you on a path to a positive life – IT`S ALL GOOD!

Who are your heroes?  Fictional or real life
My Mom
She passed away when I was a young girl (7), and I don`t have many memoires of her. Yet – to this day whenever her name is mentioned its always followed with wonderful stories of her, and her accomplishments as a mom, teacher and active member of our community. So to me that is something to strive for – to leave a positive impact.
I try, and hopefully on some small level, am succeeding!

What is your idea of happiness?
Not to sound cliché, but my family, My son owns my heart and my husband a close second. The safety and happiness that I get from being with them, even on the days when I could squat them both, is all I need. Everything else is just Stuff – family first and the rest comes from there.

I have also never met a chocolate bar I didn’t like!

What is your motto?
“As long as they are happy”
I learned a long, long time ago that how I would handle a situation, or make a decision, may not be for everyone. So while that often can cause thoughts and opinions of others actions, through life I have learned (and am still learning) that as long as no one is being hurt and things are being done in good faith it`s all good, AS LONG AS THEY ARE HAPPY!

Something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?
A couple things..
I am very social but a home body, while I can be found at nearly any event that is happening or sports event with my son, my solitude is my couch, with my family and a good game of some form. I am a TALKER who loves the quiet. So balance is something I strive towards. I guess I am a Extrovert in a introverts mind.

Your theme song?
“This is me” by Keala Settle
I first heard it on DWTS and fell in love, not even because of its motivational lyrics – which are amazing. Because you cannot listen to it without feeling uplifted – I play it on repeat often while I walk the music is so empowering.

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