The Calgary Food Bank
Together, we fight hunger and its root causes because no one should go hungry.
Our vital Food Industry partnerships provide 74% of our food donations. Our Food Industry partners help us to provide food to over 215 agencies that work to address the root causes of poverty.
Community Owned. Community Supported.
Calgary Food Bank
The Calgary Food Bank is the first line of emergency food support for families and individuals facing crisis. Once the food emergency is addressed, we refer food bank clients to our proven partner agencies and programs. Our deep collaboration and food support to hundreds of other charitable organizations that address the root causes of food insecurity aligns with our mission to work with our community to fight hunger.
We are the city’s main charitable food hub and the most accessible food bank in Calgary serving families, individuals and organizations. We are not a government or United Way agency. We rely solely on the generous support of the community. Together, we fight hunger and its root causes because no one should go hungry.
Our Mission: Together, we fight hunger and its root causes because no one should go hungry.
Our Vision: A hunger-free community.
CALGARY FOOD BANK
We provide quality food with compassion, dignity, efficiency, and respect. We build resiliency in clients through the sharing of food. We center our attention on our clients’ experiences, feedback, and needs so that our clients are treated with dignity and respect.
Our community comes together to help people in crisis. Our community’s contributions of food, funds, and time are our primary resources. Every contribution makes an impact.
All stakeholders understand their roles and how they help us meet our vision and mission. We are effective, transparent, and accountable stewards of our community’s resources.
We partner with others to address the root causes of food insecurity. We are one important part of a bigger solution.
Who we are
Over the years, The Calgary Food Bank has grown from a small not-for-profit in a church basement run by 4 volunteers, into a million dollar charitable organization in a 60,000 square foot building with 9,000 volunteers. It all started in 1982 when different religious leaders in the community were already collecting food and giving to those in need. They decided to join forces to make the most impact within their community and the Calgary Food Bank was born.
At the same time the enormous economic downturn in Alberta as a direct result of the National Energy Program forced thousands of oil industry workers into unemployment. Many declared bankruptcy and also remained unemployed or underemployed for five years. The need for a food bank was greater than ever.
During this time, the Food Bank also began to partner with manufacturers, transportation companies and distributors to redirect usable but unwanted food. Food shipments that may be turned down by retailers for many reasons such as outdated packaging; unsold product due to consumer shortfalls; as well as items past their best-before dates. This food was usable, fit for consumption and allowed us to fill pantries, not landfills, from the very beginning.
Since the early days, partnerships were established with trucking companies and distribution centres to divert refused trailers of food from the landfill to the Food Bank. Then in 2007, the Calgary Food Bank formed a Food Industry Advisory Committee, consisting of industry senior management and owners. An infrastructure was created to redirect products that cannot be sold due to short date, damage, refusal, overstock, packaging issues, end of run or seasonal issues, at the same time maintaining a safe supply of nutritious food for clients and charities. By 2013, 82% of the food collected came from the food industry partnerships.