Marjorie Bencz, CM
Marjorie Bencz started as a volunteer with Edmonton’s Food Bank in 1987 and joined the administration shortly thereafter. She was then appointed to the position of Executive Director and the rest is history.
Today, she oversees a food and operating budget of $20 million, a staff of 34, and more than 50,000 volunteer hours — which supports more than 16,000 people through hamper programs and 410,000 meals and snacks monthly. Additionally, she works with donors and 214 partner organizations. More than 1,100 food drives and fundraisers are held each year to support the Food Bank.
Marjorie is acknowledged as an outstanding leader in the food banking community across Canada. Her past roles include membership in and Chair of the Board of Directors of Food Banks Canada (formerly the Canadian Association of Food Banks). She is also a founding member and Board member of the Alberta Food Bank Network Association.
One story in particular symbolizes Marjorie’s work with Edmonton’s Food Bank. In 2006, she was invested into the Order of Canada as being a voice for the poor and working poor in fighting hunger in Canada.
“When I got back to Edmonton, we took the medal around and shared it with our volunteers. One gentleman held it in his hand and said: ‘We have an Order of Canada!’ I loved his use of the word ‘we’. It’s true – our work is collaborative and it is about being a team.”
Marjorie has received many other distinguished awards over the years for going above and beyond her dedication to the Food Bank and those in need. They include the Queen’s Diamond & Gold Jubilee Medals, YWCA Woman of Distinction, Global Television Woman of Vision, and Grant MacEwan College Distinguished Alumni Award.
“I am very fortunate and very spoiled, to be truthful. I have had staff and volunteers with me for a long time. I have a committed Board. Many Edmontonians are engaged and want to make a meaningful contribution to our community. The Food Bank has developed excellent relationships with people and organizations. Many of our supporters we see regularly while other friends we see only once a year. It has been a very special journey.”