OUR STORY

The Columbia Valley Food Bank was incorporated in 2000, and has since been providing access to healthy food for individuals and families from Spillimacheen to Canal Flats.  Its main activity is to provide food hampers comprised of approximately 23 lbs. per person, which is intended to provide a 5 to 7 day supply of food.  The hampers are based on and customised to the client, ranging in size from individual to 9-person.  Clients may access this service once every 30 days, although in exceptional circumstances emergency hampers may be provided.

ABOUT THE FOOD BANK

The CVFB is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 2 in the afternoon.  It is housed in the new Albert Cooper Building, opened in November of 2019.  It is located at 201B 7th Ave., across for the Invermere Community Centre.  With the exception of a part-time paid Coordinator, our services are all provided by volunteers, who in addition to putting the hampers together order and stock food, collect donations from bins in local stores, help at fund-raising events , clean the premises, and sort and shelf food donations when brought in.  We presently have a group of approximately 30 volunteers, supplemented by the 8 current members of the Board of Directors.

OUR BOARD

8 dedicated members

Nesta Becker

CHAIR

Elected 2018

Being involved with CVFB is very fulfilling to me as I believe that the strength of a community is built on how we care for each other. As a volunteer, I am continually impressed and inspired by the generosity of others particularly when the need is greatest.

I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan where my family were grain farmers and raised cattle.  Providing food to sustain people was a source of purpose and pride.  In my career as a Student Services teacher, one recurring responsibility was to ensure that students were fed allowing them to learn more effectively.

Providing nourishment to family, friends, and community has been a lifelong commitment for me and helping others through my work with the Columbia Valley Food Bank is a continuation of that belief.

Steve Ladas

DIRECTOR

Elected 2021

My name is Steve Ladas. I am married with 3 children ( all girls ) and have 4 grand children.

My whole career has been dedicated to the food industry starting with dominion stores in Ottawa Ontario. A short stint in the restaurant business in Belleville Ontario and then back again in the food business moving to Canmore Alberta.

I finished my career as the owner operator of the Sobeys store in Invermere. Lori and I live in radium and this is where we plan on staying.

In Canmore I was a member of the lions club and while in radium I joined the Invermere rotary club where I am still an active member.

Hobbies include riding my Harley along with my wife Lori and quad riding with friends.

I looking forward to helping out the Columbia Valley Food Bank as a director.

Tom Macrae

DIRECTOR
Elected 2017

Tom spent most of his working career as a theatre projectionist in Calgary and ended as a Business Agent representing Union members working in the Alberta Film Industry.

He has two children and three grandchildren.

Tom and his wife Gail moved to Spur Valley in 2012.

Dawn Attorp

DIRECTOR
Elected 2020

I was born and raised in the Columbia Valley, leaving shortly after completing high school to pursue further education, embark on a career in local government and raise a family.  When I semi-retired in 2013, my husband and I agreed that this is where we wanted to be.

We have two children and three grandchildren, all in the Kootenays, so it is great that we are able to get together frequently and be an active part of our grandchildren’s lives.  Although I have retired from full time employment in local government management, I continue to do contract work in the field.

I have been a life-long active volunteer for many different organizations.  Currently, as well as the Columbia Valley Food Bank, I also continue to be involved with a couple of other local organizations.  One of the things that drew me to the Food Bank, is the incredible great faith the local community has in the integrity of the organization, as evidenced by the volunteer base, as well as the many donor efforts, both organized and individual, with the Food Bank as the beneficiary.  Another thing is the progressive nature of the Board, both past and present, which has brought the beautiful, functional facility in which we serve our clientele.  The third thing, and most importantly, is the great work that the Food Bank does in the community to give a hand up to those in difficult circumstances, with this assistance being offered with empathy and kindness.

Jim Neilsen

TREASURER
Elected 2016

Jim has been a member of the CVFB board since 2016, serving as treasurer during that time.

He and his wife have had a home in the valley since 2003, moving here permanently in 2012.
He is a retired educator who spent the majority of his career in Calgary. Jim was a math
teacher who went into administration and ended his career in public education in 2007as a
high school principal. After retirement, he worked as a sessional instructor in the Faculty of
Education at the University of Calgary and did a variety of free lance contracts with Alberta
Education and the Calgary Board of Education.

Jim loves to travel and has been lucky enough to pursue this passion since moving to the
valley. When at home, he and his wife love to hike, golf and entertain. In his work with the
Food Bank he has worked to ensure that the resources given to us are well stewarded and that
the financial footing of the CVFB is strong and will provide adequate resources to support our
programs into the future.

Elaine Wallace

SECRETARY
Elected 2017

My name is Elaine Wallace and I am currently the Secretary on the CVFB Board.

My husband and I moved from Calgary in 2000 and have enjoyed living in this wonderful community.

I chose to volunteer with the foodbank as it is a very worthy cause and the board is a dedicated group of people who are a joy to work with.

I am constantly amazed at the generosity of the people in this Valley as well as it’s visitors.

Erin Palashniuk

DIRECTOR
Appointed 2021

My husband and I moved to the Columbia Valley in 2017 from Calgary.  I retired from working 25 years in the non-profit sector, specifically working with individuals and families with developmental disabilities and am now a local business owner.
When we moved to the Columbia Valley, I had a goal to become involved as a volunteer in our local community and am part of the board of Tourism Radium, The Columbia Valley Marketing Society, and the Radium Rotary Club.
One of the things that I love the most about living in this community is the fact that as a family we get to experience the outdoors.  I love to hike and can do that from my backdoor.
I have always had a keen interest in food security and making sure that no one in our community goes hungry and felt that the Columbia Valley Food Bank was a good fit.   I look forward to being a board member for the Columbia Valley Food Bank and am very thankful that this wonderful organization exists in our community.

Eileen Bilodeau

DIRECTOR
Appointed 2021

I grew up on a farm in a small tight knit rural Alberta community, where everyone helped their neighbours when the need arose.

Volunteering has always been part of my life. Even as a young person, I enjoyed helping at the community fall suppers, especially serving pie to the elderly along with their tea or coffee after their meal.

My first summer job outside the farm was at an Insurance office. The insurance industry is where I would remain for the rest of my career, retiring in 2005 as Vice President of a large company.

An invitation from a friend brought my husband and me to the Columbia Valley in the mid 1990’s. We instantly fell in love with this beautiful area which offered so many of the outdoor activities we enjoyed. We knew from that first visit that we would live here someday.

My family has been blessed with so much, and volunteering is one way we choose to share what we have. Over the years working with organizations and boards, it always seemed to involve helping those in need or the hungry, which is why the Columbia Valley Food Bank is a natural fit for me.

This community has the most amazing people, and I have personally experienced their care and support in a time of need. The food bank has given me the opportunity to be part of the solution to respectfully provide healthy nourishment to members of our community.

In some small way I hope to “pay forward”, this care and support and look forward to working with the dedicated volunteers who are so generous with their time and expertise.

Kelsey Prichard

COORDINATOR

I am a life-long Columbia Valley Resident and have been working with the CVFB since the spring of 2017. I have three amazing children and my family loves to get outside and enjoy all that the Columbia Valley has to offer. My background is in Social Work and I have experience developing and implementing a variety of community and school based programs and services for individuals and families in the Columbia Valley.

During my time with the CVFB, with the support of volunteers and the board, we have been able to expand our services to better serve clients and have created a flexible model that facilitates serving people at the farthest reaches of the Columbia Valley. We have successfully implemented new procedures that allow us to deliver food, collaborated on projects that aid meal programs and support food security projects in schools, daycares and community groups. We now offer a by appointment schedule which allows increased access to our working clients, catering to clients that do shift-work, have wavering schedules or have transportation barriers. Together we are working towards breaking down barriers to food security.

I am passionate about using my training, personal and professional experiences to assist people and am committed to contribute to positive services that improve the quality of life for Columbia Valley residents.

Ron Stainthorpe

PAST CHAIR

Ron became a volunteer at the Food Bank shortly after he and Janice retired and moved to the Valley in 2007. Growing up on a small mixed farm in southwestern Manitoba after the second world war and experiencing the production, hard work associated with and tremendous value of food, becoming involved became automatic. Along with delivering grains, cattle and pigs to market he and his family sold and delivered eggs, cream, vegetables, chickens, geese and turkeys to people in town. They didn’t have a lot but being farmers were so lucky to always have good, healthy food. He left the farm after high school and became a chartered accountant spending most of his career in Alberta.
Being involved with the Food Bank is similar to living in a farming community and later a small community like Invermere. You get to meet all sorts of great people working hard to do the best they can and look after their family and neighbors. Having sufficient healthy food is paramount to learning and physical and mental wellbeing. It’s hard to fathom that people and particularly children and youth go hungry in this day and age.
Janice and Ron have two sons and daughter in laws and four grandchildren who live in Calgary and love coming to the Valley and the opportunities provided by the great outdoors. Oldest son Brent, periodically seen helping out at the Food Bank is in the food industry employed as a produce manager at Calgary Co-op.
We are always amazed by the generosity and goodwill of the community and by the,(mainly Alberta) visitors who contribute so much to our Valley.

Lawrie Mack

PAST CHAIR

Lawrie has been a full-time resident of the Valley since 2007, after retiring from a 30+ years as a teacher and administrator in Calgary.  At one of the first Old Silvertips hockey games he played, he heard about the Food Bank from one of the other players and decided to volunteer.  In 2014 he became an acting member of the Board, and was elected to the Board and the role of Vice-Chair in 2015.  Lawrie became Chair in 2016, a role he served in for four years.  He was honored to have been at the helm while the CVFB constructed and moved into the Albert Cooper Building.  In 2021 he will happily return to the job of volunteer!

His best memories of the Food Bank are the wonderful people he has met and worked with: the volunteers who are the mainstay and lifeblood by giving so generously of their time; the community government, businesses, groups, organizations and individuals who go out of their way to support the CVFB in numerous ways; and our clients express their sincere appreciation when receiving hampers and other support. 

 Meeting and walking with Jim Ashworth during his fundraising campaign, helping to serve at the annual Copper Point Feed the Town, working the crowd at the Radium Show ‘n’ Shine, and the Canada Day Parade are events that always provide him with warm memories.

Donate

The Columbia Valley Food Bank is supported primarily by cash and food donations from individuals, visitors, community organizations, churches, service clubs, and businesses in the Valley.  Their generosity is what has enabled the Food Bank to continue to provide its service to people in the community whose circumstances dictate the need for additional support to improve their quality of life.

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