Home Blog December 2017 Food Banker Spotlight – Feezah Jaffer of the Surrey Food Bank

Food Banker Spotlight – Feezah Jaffer of the Surrey Food Bank

Food Banker Spotlight – Feezah Jaffer of the Surrey Food Bank
We are always interested in hearing more about the individuals in food banking across Canada! This month, our spotlight is on Feezah Jaffer, Executive Director of the Surrey Food Bank in Surrey, British Columbia.

What is your role in food banking?
As Executive Director my role is to oversee the daily operations of the Surrey Food Bank, oversee staff, volunteer and donor relations and to develop community partnerships. My main goal is to help educate the greater community on the challenges and hardships many of their low-income neighbours face and how we as a community can help break that cycle of poverty.

Describe a typical day in one word.
Unique - no two days are the same.

What was your inspiration to get involved in food banking?
Happenstance actually. I came to the food bank on a school field trip in Grade 6, and have always volunteered in the community. But as life happens, I moved away to attend Grad School and when I came back to BC, I found a job posting at the Surrey Food Bank. I was hired and haven’t looked back. I love it, and am inspired everyday by the resilience and strength of our clients as they strive to make a better life for themselves and their families.

What is your greatest achievement in your current role?
Being new in the role, the positive outpouring of support from our staff, volunteers, donors and community has been very heartening. It gives me the motivation and drive to work with our team to bring my vision of the food bank to fruition.

What is your greatest challenge in your current role?
The search for a new facility. We have been looking to relocate for many years and it has been a challenge for sure.

If you could have one wish granted that would address hunger in Canada what would it be?
That as a society we would have the infrastructure to ensure that everyone had access to healthy and nutritious food regardless of income, status, or location.

Which talent would you most like to have?
To fly... no wait, that’s a superpower. I’ve always admired artists. So to have the ability to paint or sculpt would be wonderful.

If you could tell your younger self advice, what would it be?
Failure is a part of life. You only truly fail if you do not try.

Who are your heroes? Fictional or real life.
My parents. They are the most amazing people in the world.  They are not perfect, but have taught me so much about the human condition. They instilled in me a sense of community, volunteerism and that it is a sacred truth that you must be kind to people and give back to those who are in need.

What is your idea of happiness?
Being surrounded by love and laughter. Or taking a minute to just breathe and watch the sunset.

What is your motto?
A quote from Gandhi: Be the change you want to see.

Something quirky about you that others may not expect or know?
I can quote any line from the Wizard of Oz and Back to the Future verbatim.

Your theme song?
Just Like Fire by Pink

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

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of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)