A bite of information | The Blog
Fighting hunger and its root cause together
Connecting with proven partners through food
For many agencies in Calgary, food is a critical component of client support. But allocating resources to purchase food or source food donations is costly and time consuming, taking away from addressing the root causes of food insecurity. For 239 agency programs, the Calgary Food Bank’s Food Link program is their place to collect quality food and supplies.
Last year, more than 2.5 million pounds of food were distributed through Food Link and our partner agencies saved more than 5 million dollars. Agencies utilize these savings in a variety of ways. Some invest in their facility’s maintenance, others might augment their programming or take their residents out for special events or trips, or they might purchase general supplies for their programming.
“Using Food Link doesn’t off-set expenses, rather it allows us to run the programs we do. In other words, if we weren’t accessing Food Link we may not be able to run the programs at all.” – Alcove Recovery, partner agency
For Alcove, an addiction recovery organization for women, Food Link saves them 40% of their budget and with the loss of some major funders this year, they wouldn’t survive if they had to worry about food costs, according to Executive Director Cheryl Nandee.
For 10% of the agencies accessing Food Link, this is the only source of food for their organization. While 61% of the agencies visit more than twice a month, the average number of visits is six and half times per month. For example, some organizations come daily to top-up their food supply such as the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre, and others like the Salvation Army come two or three times a week. Smaller agencies require only weekly visits, such as The Lord’s Lunch, an agency that provides about 300 meals every month to Calgarians living on the street.
“Food Link allows The Lord’s Lunch program to even exist. Without it there would be no food and our outreach would no longer be.” – Lord’s Lunch, partner agency
For some agencies Food Link is just one of the Calgary Food Bank’s programs and services that they access for their clients. Food Link may make a warm drink and filling meal at a shelter possible, and that may spark a conversation about the availability of the Weekends and More Program’s kid-friendly hampers at schools and end with a Food Hamper referral.
By working together we create a better community for all Calgarians. We value our partnerships with our proven partner agencies.