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People and programs 05/15/2019

Volunteers make our world go round. It’s because of their unrelenting support that Community Food Centres across the country are able to bring people together around healthy food, and the reason why our events - big and small - are deliciously welcoming, vibrant, and empowering.   

Nowhere is this more evident than our annual Food Summit, a massively motivating affair that sees over 200 staff from our partner organizations coming together to learn, network, and share knowledge. It simply could not happen without volunteers - in fact, the Summit’s very fabric is held together by their collective efforts. 

That’s why this month, we’re sending a shout-out to the two groups of volunteers that came out to support the 2019 Food Summit. Comprised of Manulife employees and members of our Young Professionals’ Association (YPA), their collective contribution helped the Summit reach its peak. 

This is the second year Manulife volunteers have supported the Food Summit. But the organization's involvement extends beyond events and into our CFCs, where staff roll up their sleeves and take on everything from healthy meal prep to getting their hands dirty in the garden. Manulife is also a big supporter of FoodFit, a healthy eating and exercise program in Calgary, Dartmouth and Stratford, ON. 

“Volunteering makes me feel like I contributed unselfishly to something.  I enjoy volunteering with CFCC as they seem to have similar values as myself - it was a great team building experience at the Food Summit."

— Joe Tsang, Manulife

A big thanks to Manulife staffers Joe Tsang, Gayatri Sriram, Jenny Bassa, Eliot Bassa and Kiran Sembhi for your support! 
But what about those energetic young professionals we mentioned earlier? YPA members also had a big impact at the Summit, lending their skills and energy to every tasks that was thrown at them. As members, they play an important role in helping us build more CFCs, and benefit by enjoying opportunities like the Summit to learn, network, and become allies in the fight for good food for all. 

 "I have a really busy work schedule but I also feel that it is important for me to positively contribute to my community. Being part of the YPA at CFCC allows me to get involved and work towards supporting my community through the various volunteer opportunities. The Food Summit was a great way for me to give back while learning more about how CFCC is tackling the root causes of food security across Canada," said YPA member Kosta Starostin.  

We’d like to thank Emma Shulist, Alanna Lipson, Mike Lawler, Malinga Madumage, Heather Ramshaw, and Kosta Starostin for being there and giving your all. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Are you a young professional that’s looking for opportunities for to get involved in Canadian communities struggling with poverty and food insecurity? There are lots of ways you can make a difference! Contact Trisha Starostina at to learn more. 

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