The 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.
Who we are
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 Food shipments that may be turned down by retailers for many reasons such as outdated packaging; unsold product due to consumer shortfalls; as well as items past their best-before dates.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.
Together, we fight hunger and its root causes because no one should go hungry.
A hunger-free community.
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 community’s resources.
We partner with others to address the root causes of food insecurity. We are one important part of a bigger solution.
This was my first visit to the Calgary Food Bank. I was never treated better in my time of need. Thank you ALL.
This place is so wonderful, helpful and friendly! The amazing generosity is a plus, too! As someone coming just for myself, not a family, you probably gave me enough food for a month! Thank you so much! P.S. The woman helper in the foyer with the side snapped hat, so elegant and nice!
Thank you soooo much for the Food Hampers for the past four years. As a student and single mother, the food bank has helped my family greatly with providing healthy meals. My hope is that one day I will be able to give back the way the food bank has given to me and my family. Thank you.
Who would have ever thought to university-educated, well-traveled people with $200,000 income, two cars, pets and would end up homeless after the flood? Yep, that happened to us! We lost absolutely everything including both dogs. Of course many lives were changed for ever and many where homeless as a result. We're both only children, no parents (both sets deceased) and we had to start from square one. We were fortunate to be housed thanks to U of C alumni for one month. Vacancy rates being as atrocious as they are (less than 1 per cent at the time) equaled horrific circumstances. So, once we found adequate housing, we stocked up our fridge and freezer compliments of the Calgary Food Bank. We came on our own three times and were referred by agencies twice, making that five times. The volunteers on the lines of interaction are awesome. Thank you for everything. We couldn't have made it through without the help of our neighbours.
I would have never thought I would be in need of food for my family and have no money to do so. I pay the bills and have no food, or buy food and pay no bills. From a well paying job to no job. But things are slowly turning around. To all of you a heartfelt thank-you! Your patience, understanding, empathy and kindness has made this difficult and embarrassing time a lot easier. myself and my children will not forget! As soon as things are back on track we will be back, but this time to volunteer. To help others as you have all helped us. All our best to you and your families.
I was laid off recently and the bills have been overwhelming. I am so grateful for all your volunteers, staff and the great kindness and enormous generosity of Calgarians. When I was in line, I was touched almost to tears and opening the bags when I got home was like Christmas! Thank you from me and my son.