Have You Met ... Erin O'Neil?

Meet Erin, Executive Director of the Campus Food Bank.

Erin O'Neil, Executive Director of the Campus Food Bank

Have you met Erin O'Neil, Executive Director of the Campus Food Bank? Spend a few minutes getting to know her better.

What is your first U of A memory?

I took gymnastics lessons at the Butterdome when I was a little girl and I remember being so in awe of all the cool “big kid” students walking around campus.

What’s something your coworkers don’t know about you?

I lived in Sweden when I was six because my dad was working on contract there for the year. Swedish kindergarten was really cool but my most lasting memory is how good the ice cream was!

What’s your favourite distraction?

Puzzles — I love jigsaws, crosswords, word games, or anything that distracts me from social media and the news for a few minutes.

If you were enrolling in one course, program or degree right now, what would it be?

Definitely one of the new Native Studies courses that the Faculty is offering after the Indigenous Canada MOOC received so much positive attention. One of our volunteers at the Campus Food Bank returned to school recently as a mature student and is taking some Native Studies courses, and she speaks so highly of the experience.

What’s a weird pet peeve you have?

If there are too many different noises happening at once I just cannot process my thoughts, does that count?

You can invite anyone — alive or dead, real or fictional — to dinner. Who would it be?

My grampa. I didn’t live in the same city as him until the very end of his life, and I miss him fiercely. He got to travel the world as a navigator in the Air Force and had a real talent for spinning the yarns of his youth. I’d love to hear some more stories and enjoy another of his favourite meals together.

If you could see any live performance tomorrow, what would it be?

I’d love to see the ESO perform the Scheherazade suite by Rimsky-Korsakov. But I’ve also been hoping that Sylvan Esso might tour nearby soon. I love them so much.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Mistakes are good! Sometimes making a mistake can feel like your life is altered forever, but as long as you learn from your errors, you will find that becoming comfortable with mistakes makes for a much more interesting life. Also: listen to your mother and start a savings account.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

Family and friends. Or, said another way, community!

What three words describe your U of A experience?

Eclectic, stimulating, and chilly (crossing campus in the winter months … brr).

The Campus Food Bank is located in SUB 1-81 at the University of Alberta and serves more than 1,000 student clients each month, including 150 children of current students.

They work and advocate for a university where everyone has access to food and food education. Consider supporting their work with a donation.

About Erin

Erin O’Neil joined Campus Food Bank as executive director in February 2022. She recently graduated from U of A with a masters in digital humanities and earned a masters in nonprofit management from Carleton University in 2016. Before attending the U of A, Erin worked in fundraising communications at two Ontario universities. She currently serves on the boards of the Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG) and the Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations.