Lenetta Parry is heading west, but just as far as West Kelowna to take over the Westside Community Food Bank.
The new executive director, who took over Tuesday, was previously associate executive director of the Kelowna Community Food Bank. The new position is also closer to home for the longtime Westside resident.
"Ms. Parry brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion to the position, and the board looks forward to working with her," said Helen Holton, food bank chairwoman.
Born and raised in a family that is all about community, Parry has "a passion for volunteerism, humanitarian work, politics and community development - dedicating her life to improving the lives and community around her," said Holton.
"She will bring significant strengths to the position, including a passion for hunger relief and social justice."
Parry will be responsible for day-to-day management, providing leadership for staff and volunteers, and ensuring the strategic direction and policies of the organization are followed.
The Westside Community Food Bank, established more than 30 years ago, is a member of Food Banks Canada and Food Banks British Columbia. It assists 500 households per month, approximately 1,600 individuals with 40 per cent of those children under the age of 15. The food bank, located at 2545 Churchill Rd., is open 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday to Friday for donations.
For her part, Parry is looking forward to working with the Westside to establish a larger presence in the community and improve client service delivery. "Most of all, I am eager to meet staff, volunteers, donors and clients," she said.
Parry had been with the Kelowna Community Food Bank for more than seven years and although she said she will miss everyone, she is excited about the new adventure and challenges this new opportunity brings. "It's always been a goal of mine to be the leader in a human service organization."
Parry looks forward to help strengthen the food bank network across the Central Okanagan so that families and children receive the nutrition they need and deserve.
Parry helped to establish the Central Okanagan Healthy Food Council; worked on the Poverty and Homelessness Action Team of the Central Okanagan; and spent three years as a Food Banks B.C. board director.
Parry also assisted in the Westside Visioning Forum; was vice-chair on the Westside naming committee; and a Westside Daze volunteer.