Introducing the ‘Meet our Team’ series: Part 1 – Robin Ryan
We always say children are the heart and volunteers are the soul of Breakfast Club of Canada. There is another crucial part of BCC that makes us who we are and ensures we deliver on our mission every day for the past 23 years: our passionate team!
How about a little meet & greet over the next couple of months?
To kick things off, we sat down over a green smoothie with Robin Ryan, our Senior Advisor, Operations for Western Canada.
Birthplace: North Vancouver, BC
Joined BCC: 4 years ago
Workplace: Downtown Vancouver office
Life motto: ‘Vale la pena’ (which means, ‘it’s worth the effort’)
Favorite breakfast item(s): Pancakes with butter
BCC:What’s the key priority in your role at Breakfast Club of Canada?
Robin: For myself and most of the team involved in Operations, I would say it’s to build our internal capacity.
Robin: It means working on building solid and long-term relationships with and between community and regional stakeholders, and the nearby school(s) where we fund a breakfast program. Encouraging local collaborations can lead to many benefits for everyone involved, and it ultimately benefits students using the breakfast programs every day.
BCC:Can you name a few concrete examples of local collaborations your team helps set up?
Robin: We might help a few schools organize group or bulk purchasing so they can save money and buy ever more products, or some of better quality for their breakfast program; we could facilitate the delivery of certain food items directly to the school by a local supplier, to avoid a weekly trip for the breakfast program coordinator; we can also make arrangements with a local farming organization to give the school access to a variety of fresher fruits and vegetables.
These are just a few examples of our daily projects, but there are dozens on the go since each community has its own challenges. It’s our job to turn them into opportunities and ensure long-term growth and sustainability of each of our breakfast programs. No matter what project we take on, the ultimate goal remains the same: that children have the best quality breakfast as possible before they start their school day.
BCC:What do you love the most about the work you do at Breakfast Club Canada?
Robin: It’s great to feel like every day, I have the opportunity to effect systemic change in systems that perpetuate poverty and inequality in our country. This keeps me motivated, as well as all the happy and energetic kids I see when I visit breakfast programs: to have a role in making this happen is the best feeling.*
Stay tuned for another BCC staff profile next month!