We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on Susan Pascoe, from Clarington food bank.
What is your role in food banking?
I am the Program Manager
What are your pronouns?
Describe a typical day in one word.
What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
The opportunity to make a difference in my community from a grassroots perspective. I advocated to have the Early Years Program in our community and established a recreational dance program. When the position for food bank co-ordinator became available, it seemed like a natural fit. I enjoy advocating for individuals who are struggling and creating programs or initiatives that make a difference.
What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
Establishing a shopping model for our food bank. When I joined Clarington East Food Bank, we operated a food hamper program. After reading “Reinventing Food Banks”, I approached our board to switch to a shopping model. With the board’s support, and Feed ON Feeding Possibility Grant, we moved to a larger facility and established a shopping model. The impact has been significant. Our neighbours feel dignified, respected, and valued when they come to the food bank. We significantly increased the volunteer base and our volunteers make all the difference to our neighbours.
What is your greatest challenge in your current role?
Finding time for everyone. I believe it is important for people to feel heard. It helps them feel valued. For some of our neighbours, we may be the only people they socialize with. It is important that our neighbours feel like they are important to us.
If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada what would it be?
Increasing the living wage and benefits so that people can pay for housing, gas, and food.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To speak a second language.
If you could tell your younger self advice, what would it be?
Be adaptable and open minded to whatever life brings to you.
Who are your heroes? Fictional or real life.
Michelle Obama for how well spoken she is, her worldview, and that she acts on her beliefs.
What is your idea of happiness?
A good book, hot cup of tea, Lindt chocolate and a cat curled up on my lap!
What is your motto?
Greet everyone with a warm smile and a listening ear.
Something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?
I homeschooled our four daughters from kindergarten to post-secondary.
Your theme song?
Do you know a food bank or food banker that could be featured on our next Spotlight? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.