We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on Volker Kromm, Executive Director of the Regional Food Distribution Association in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
What is your role in food banking?
Executive Director of the “Regional Food Distribution Association of Northwestern Ontario”; Manage / Coordinate the relationships between 45+ member food bank programs and 50+ remote communities throughout Northwestern Ontario, responding to emergency food incidents.
Describe a typical day in one word.
What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
I came to the charity world through a downsizing in the forestry industry, as a project manager; living through the anxiety and hardship with thousands of other displaced workers across the region.
What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
Building a network if individuals and agencies across the region, sharing a passion for eradicating food insecurity and promoting access to healthy food.
What is your greatest challenge in your current role?
Funding for transportation and infrastructure. Food is brought in by rail, truck, air, and boat; covering vast distances. Food is often destined to communities that have no adequate storage or resources to receive and distribute food.
If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada what would it be?
Stimulate socio-economic activity in entrepreneur and employment deprived regions of Canada; to provide future generations with hope, and an opportunity to participate equally in the food sovereignty process.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To speak the language of many nations within Canada. The ability to communicate will help us to understand each other’s needs; which will lead to solutions.
If you could tell your younger self advice, what would it be?
Take more time to listen to elders and sage professionals that have prepared the ground in front of me. I wasted too much time learning the lessons that had been scattered along my path, which I did not see.
Who are your heroes? Fictional or real life.
I have met many simple people in service living in remote communities; dedicated to supporting, healing, and educating children. Their hearts have become interwoven into the fabric that binds the families into so many families and communities suffering with social malaise. Do they need names? I think not. If I had to pick one hero in my life, it would be Peter Pan.
What is your idea of happiness?
When I stand on a mountain top, with the clouds far below me: the wind, the sun, and the knowledge that in every direction beyond our horizons, the people below all belong together.
What is your motto?
Alles mit Gewalt. I live my life charging head long into the world, trying to tackle all problems with brute force and passion. My mother reminded me that I should consider the consequences first. Unfortunately, playing it safe wasn’t an option.
Something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?
I am a very proud father of five children. They were given grandchildren production targets; which they are expected to surpass this coming January. Lord willing, I will be the elated Opa for 10.
Your theme song?
Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World by Israel IZ Kamakawiwoʻole
Do you know a food bank or food banker that could be featured on our next Spotlight? Contact us at email@example.com.