Before Patti Larson was running the food bank for Community Connections, she was a banker for TD.
She was there for 22 years, stepping away when the company was no longer a good fit for her.
Larson said it was hard to change her career in her early 40s.
Banking had become a part of her identity and she had two daughters still living at home at the time.
For awhile she sold Laurie-Anne’s Victorian Lace and Linen from her home, but when the opportunity came up at Community Connections, Larson took it.
At the time there was no food bank in the community. There had been one for mill employees who were laid off during an economic downturn from 1986 to 1988, but it shut when the economy picked up and people were rehired.
Larson had volunteered for that project as many of her family members worked at the mill, so she had some experience with food banking when the job posting came up in 2000.
From the beginning, Larson has striven to treat everyone fairly, to be kind and be inclusive.
Noeline Mostert, admires Larson’s humble dedication. “She commits thousands of hours to keep this project running in Revelstoke, making life easier for those in need,” Mostert said.
Larson said her long-time connection with the community — she was born and raised in Revelstoke — has been an asset to her work as a major part of it has been building trust and raising funds.
With no core funding, Larson said money is a constant worry at the back of her mind, but she is grateful for the community who she worked with as a banker and is now supporting her at the food bank.
She has seen many changes in the community and those accessing the food bank have changed as well.
Now she sees not only people who live in Revelstoke struggle, but also those who move here.
But the food bank is for everyone. “They are our community members now,” she said.
On Friday mornings you will see happy volunteers, coffee and breakfast in the basement of the Legion and Larson, still there 20 years later, still smiling.