Meet the Newest Food Bankers

Food bankers are a special group. They are the innovators, social entrepreneurs, community leaders, problem solvers, story tellers, food waste warriors, and hunger fighters who make food banking possible.

The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is pleased to introduce two new members of our team at home and welcome new leaders in Bulgaria, Colombia, and India to the global food banking community.

New Faces on the GFN Team

Anthony Kitchen, Manager of Network Programs. Tony moved to Chicago from the United Kingdom to join GFN in October, following ten years working in management consulting and in the food industry. Tony is not new to food banking however. In 2008 while working on behalf of Accenture, he moved to South Africa to work with GFN staff and local food bank leaders to establish FoodBank South Africa. Tony's role was to explore food sourcing opportunities. While looking for ways to supply food for the food bank, he found a passion for food banking. Fortunately for us, he decided to turn this new devotion into a career at GFN.

Tony’s current role is to increase the volume of food that passes through the food bank system. Among the ways he’ll do this is by developing programs to share across borders, and helping food banks become the partners of choice for companies in the food and grocery products industry. 

"The fact that there is a global issue with hunger, and yet at the same time there is a problem with excess food waste, seems crazy. I love the way that food banking can address this imbalance and start from relatively simple operations and evolve into far reaching sophisticated networks.”

Tony Kitchen and Sue Canepa

(L to R) Sue Canepa, Director of Communications, and Tony Kitchen, Manager of Network Programs

Sue Canepa, Director of Communications.  Joining GFN in September, Sue is responsible for the development and coordination of GFN’s external communications. Sue spent the majority of her career working for global marketing communications firms specializing in food and consumer products. She helped to develop integrated brand-building programs for commodities and global brands including Gatorade, McDonald’s, Campbell’s Soup, Nike, General Mills, Charmin, Pampers, and more. In doing so, Sue developed and managed numerous large-scale special events, media events, cause-related marketing efforts, sponsorships, and consumer education programs.

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to use my skills to advance the cause of food banking and help fight world hunger. This is a wonderful organization and I hope that my efforts will create greater awareness of GFN and activate people to get involved with the organization on a global or local level.”

New Food Bank Leaders Around the World

GFN is pleased to welcome three new food bank leaders to our global network. These mission-driven professionals are dedicated to developing local and national food bank systems that deliver millions of meals to those in need.

Maya Kalcheva photoMaya Kalcheva became the Executive Director of the Bulgarian Food Bank in October. Maya attended The Global FoodBanking Network’s Food Bank Leadership Institute in 2010 during the time she was working with the FORA Foundation for Community Development to develop the Bulgarian Food Bank. Prior to her work relating to food banking, Maya spent 15 years in software development, business planning, market research, and consulting.

Learn more about the Bulgarian Food Bank


Ana CatalinaAna Catalina Suarez Pena joined Asociación Bancos de Alimentos de Colombia (ABACO) in September as the organization’s new Director. With a strong background in social service and program management, Ana will help ABACO fight hunger by strengthening the food bank network across the country.

Learn more about ABACO


Vandana SinghVandana Singh became the new CEO of the India FoodBanking Network in October. She brings more than three decades of experience in the banking and development sectors. Vandana was also a part of the Mission Convergence project of the Delhi Government that worked to coordinate efforts among social welfare organizations, business, government, and civil society.

Learn more about the India FoodBanking Network


Recognizing Long-time Hunger Fighter Richard Hurst

Dick Hurst at FBLI

At the same time we welcome new leaders to the food banking community, we also recognize Richard (Dick) Hurst for his dedication to fighting hunger and his commitment to supporting the mission of GFN. For the past six years, Dick has served as GFN’s food sourcing expert. He has played a major role in the advancement of food bank systems around the world. Dick will be retiring from GFN by the end of this year, but will remain a board member and volunteer at his local food bank in Jacksonville, Florida.

“Dick is a consummate professional, with a heart as big as his talent for engaging with people. In his humble, unassuming, yet incredibly effective manner, Dick has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who will never have the pleasure of knowing him. GFN has been fortunate to have Dick on our team and we will miss him.”
- Chris Rebstock, GFN Senior Vice President of Network Development

Read the full tribute

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