Vision

A community where no one is hungry.

Mission

The Barrie Food Bank provides food relief at no cost to individuals and families in our community who are in need, and supports them on their journey towards well-being.

Our primary service is the provision of food to families and individuals to prevent them from going hungry. In addition to providing food for those in need, a key part of our program delivery is to encourage self sufficiency, as well as personal and family well-being. A Resource Centre of brochures and literature is available for our clients to use referring them to other knowledgeable services and agencies.

Our Principles

Puzzle Pieces | Barrie Food Bank

We recognize that those who come to us for food assistance may also have other needs including physical, emotional, social, and spiritual.

Helping Hand | Barrie Food Bank

We encourage individuals and families to be hopeful, assisting with steps that they may take to meet their expressed needs.

Hand and Heart | Barrie Food Bank

We comfort, encourage, and challenge individuals and families to do all they can to help themselves.

Community Icon | Barrie Food Bank

We collaborate with community organizations to provide relevant resources to our clients.

Helping Hand | Barrie Food Bank

We show compassion and respect for the dignity of those who come to us for assistance.

Our Staff

Marie Ali

Sharon Palmer

Executive Director

Sharon joined the Barrie Food Bank in 2021 as Executive Director responsible for the overall management and leadership of the organization. She is passionate about providing food support to those in need in our community. Her goal at the food bank is to build a strong team of staff, volunteers, and donors to provide food support so that no one in our community goes hungry.

sharon@barriefoodbank.org

Ext. 224

 

 

Marie Ali

Benjamin Zhu

Manager, Finance & Administration

Benjamin joined the Barrie Food Bank in July 2024. He is responsible for the accounting and finances of the organization, as well as some of the day-to-day administration. Benjamin has a history working with nonprofits as well as banking experience. He enjoys passionately helping others and keeping costs low to serve as many clients as possible.

benjamin@barriefoodbank.org

ext. 225

Paul Monahan
Karen Shuh

Manager, Fundraising & Donor Engagement

Karen joined our team in September 2023 following a 30 year career in the grocery & consumer packaged industry. Starting as a volunteer, Karen knew this was the type of organization she wanted to be involved with. Now serving alongside our wonderful and dedicated volunteers and community supporters, Karen gets energized knowing that food will soon be in the hands of our neighbours in need. 

Michelle Runge

Michelle Runge

Manager, Client and Volunteer Experience

Michelle joined our team in January 2022. She is responsible for volunteer recruitment, onboarding, training and scheduling. Client service and experience, community outreach programs and collaborative partnerships. Michelle has a long history working in non-profits, customer service and tackling community barriers. She has a passion working directly with community members, and enjoys an inclusive and wholehearted collaboration.

michellerunge@barriefoodbank.org

Ext. 226

Roberta Lowe

Roberta Lowe

Front Desk Administrator and Intake Lead

Roberta joined the food bank team in February 2020. Roberta is the first response to our community members. She is responsible for deliveries and agency relations and Team Lead for client Intake. Roberta has a passion for serving people and thoroughly enjoys being part of this team.

roberta@barriefoodbank.org

Ext. 227

 

James WardJames Ward

Operations Manager

James joined our team as Operations Manager in the fall of 2021. He is responsible for the overall operations of the warehouse, food purchasing, and food recovery from grocery stores, wholesalers, and farms. He is also responsible for the managing volunteer support in food collection, sorting and stocking. He has extensive experience in the food service sector. Born and raised in Barrie, James shares his love of people through food. Food is Love!

 

Paul Monahan

Paul Monahan

Warehouse Coordinator

Paul a veteran of our Canadian Armed Forces, joined our team in Fall of 2019. He is responsible for the organization of all food incoming including perishable and non-perishable. He oversees sorting, bagging and inventory. Paul manages all volunteer roles within the warehouse, delegating tasks in response to the need or demands each day. Paul, a true leader, who sets an example and creates an environment enjoyable for all working along side him.

paul@barriefoodbank.org

 

John Del Monaco

John Del Monaco

Food Collection Representative

John joined the Food Bank as a volunteer in 2020 and then joined the team in 2022.  John is responsible for the morning food pickups from grocery stores, churches, schools and businesses.  He has a deep passion for serving and helping those who are poor, oppressed and those who have found themselves on the fringes of society, both here in our community and around the world. Outside of work, John enjoys exercising, serving at a local church and spending lots of time with family and friends.  

John Del Monaco

Kasiet Makenova

Bookkeeper / Admin Assistant

Kasiet joined the Barrie Food Bank team in January 2024. Kasiet is responsible for maintaining the financial records of the organization and supports the team with administrative needs. She believes that by helping each other, we can change today’s world for the better.

kasiet@barriefoodbank.org

Ext. 225

John Del Monaco

Will Gibbons

Warehouse and Logistics Support Representative

Will Gibbons is a man of many talents and at least one questionable tattoo. When he’s not expertly coordinating our warehouse operations, he’s out shredding the slopes as a professional snowboarder, rumored to have once raced a moose downhill—and won. Will holds the record for fastest time organizing canned goods while wearing snowboard boots, a feat that requires both balance and bravery. He’s also known for his unique ability to juggle frozen turkeys, though we try to limit his practice sessions to off-service hours. With a coffee in one hand and a clipboard in the other, Will keeps the warehouse running smoothly while dreaming of building a halfpipe out of cardboard boxes.

william@barriefoodbank.org

Our Board of Directors

Chair

George Hawtin

Ab Falconi

Ab Falconi has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2021. Ab, a retired Director of Education, supported students and staff for 32 years in York and Simcoe Muskoka. During that time Ab had carriage over the Food for Life portfolio which supported student nutrition programs across Simcoe, Muskoka, and Parry Sound. With expertise in governance, policy development, and finance, Ab seeks to assist the Board in solidifying their frameworks to effectively and efficiently support those in our community who need support and to assist in diminishing food insecurity in Barrie.

Vice Chair

Dan Brebacher

Dan Brubacher

Dan currently works at Connexus Church in the role of Executive Director of Operations & Finance. Connexus loves to support the Barrie Food Bank and get behind other efforts to strengthen the community. Dan has served  as a pastor in various local churches since 1999, helping to provide strategic leadership and operational effectiveness. He lives in Barrie with his wife, Carla, and four daughters, and considers it an honour to contribute his skills toward the vision of “a community where no one is hungry.”

Secretary

George Hawtin

George Hawtin

George Hawtin joined the board of the Barrie Food Bank in early 2023. George serves as Executive Director and Law Librarian of the Simcoe County Law Association, and is also a Certified Human Resources Professional and doctoral student specializing in board governance. Living with cerebral palsy, George has experienced the poverty and food insecurity that too often accompany life with a disability, and he’s passionate about making sure everyone in our community can access food.

 

Treasurer

Alan Pieprzak

AJ Pieprzak

As an Investment Advisor at RBC Dominion Securities, A.J. brings a wealth of financial expertise to the Barrie Food Bank, having joined the board as Treasurer in June 2022. Outside of his professional endeavors, A.J. finds great fulfillment in being able to give back to his community in a meaningful way, ensuring that those in need have access to essential support and resources. Alan’s dedication to making a positive impact is truly commendable, and we’re grateful to have him as part of our team at the Barrie Food Bank.

Directors

Chris Salazar

Chris Salazar

Christopher is a partner at the Barrie law firm Stewart, Esten LLP. Having grown up in Barrie, Christopher has been involved with the Barrie Food Bank since he was a high school student. When not working or volunteering his time, Christopher spends his time chasing around his four children. In his former life, Christopher was a world traveller, avid scuba diver and garage-band musician.

Lori Martin

Lori Martin

A firm belief that access to food is essential for a healthy society, Lori Martin joined the board in 2020 to make a difference in her community. In her role as editor at the Barrie Advance, Lori had been interacting with the food bank to provide editorial and marketing support for many years. As well as seeing first-hand the tremendous impact the food bank has on those it serves, the role of director offers an opportunity to help make decisions today that will positively impact the lives of Barrie residents for years to come. Volunteering at the food bank is more rewarding than she ever imagined.

Linda Moorhouse

Linda Moorhouse

Linda Moorhouse is a past chair of the board of directors and has been a board member since 2018. Linda is a big supporter of community initiatives and was a food drive organizer at Barrie Police Service for 15 years.