Danny

How did you get involved with the Food Bank?

  • I have been volunteering at the Food Bank for around 30 years.*
  • Before getting involved with the Food Bank, I worked in a number of jobs including riding horses. I was a jockey on the racetrack in Vancouver. This job required a lot of skills and an understanding about how horses behave. I no longer ride now, but I still love horses and I visit the racetrack to watch them run — they’re amazing; they’re like athletes.
  • I began working with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in the 1980s. I cannot work independently and need some direction, so they put me in touch with the Food Bank about a volunteer position in the warehouse. I’ve been volunteering in the warehouse ever since.

Why do you volunteer?

  • I volunteer with the Food Bank because I like working on something and working hard, and I like the responsibilities I have which includes taking care of the cardboard recycling (there are tons of boxes in the warehouse) and contacting the recycling company for pick up.

Can you tell us about one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve had volunteering here?

  • The most rewarding experience for me was when I got my Electric Pallet Jack certificate. I had to work at it and it took me years to get. I’m excited about it because I can get more accomplished in the warehouse without getting tired.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of volunteering at the Food Bank/why should they volunteer?

  • When you volunteer at the Food Bank, there are many chances to use your skills and you also discover the abilities that you have. You learn a lot of things working in the warehouse.

Volunteers are the roots of strong communities. What does that mean to you?

  • Volunteering is a two-way street — it works both ways: volunteers play an important role in our community; without them, the Food Bank wouldn’t be the same. But organizations also help volunteers too, by getting people out of their usual environments. They share their world with other people and they work together and collaborate.
  • The Food Bank is so much more than people realize, and when you volunteer at the Food Bank, you learn that.

*It’s estimated that Danny volunteers more hours than full-time staff at the Food Bank. Because of his hard work and dedication, Danny has become like family to many Operations staff. Danny was nominated for the 2016 Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, which recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to their communities.