Calgary Food Bank

Driven to make a difference

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It’s 6 a.m. and the Calgary Food Bank looks quiet from the outside. Inside the 60,000 square foot warehouse, volunteers and staff are gearing up to take on another day.

While most Calgarians are still greeting the morning, Food Bank drivers are out and about gleaning viable food from stores in every quadrant of the city.

It’s hard but rewarding work for the drivers and the swampers (or driver’s assistants). Loading and unloading food donations, operating pallet jackets, and representing the charity are just a few of the tasks our volunteers take on in this role.

While collecting food donations, volunteer drivers and volunteer swampers get to see first-hand the sheer number of stores, businesses, schools, and events that bring in thousands of pounds of perishables and non-perishables. Being hands-on with the donors is a great way to see how the Food Bank is working with others towards a hunger-free community. It’s also an opportunity to let community partners know just how their donation impacts the lives of families and individuals that seek emergency food support.

“When we return to the Food Bank with a truck full, we quite often see the road is backed-up with a traffic line-up to get in. It’s sad, but it’s good to know the donations we’ve just picked up are going to make a difference in someone’s life,” says volunteer driver Mookie Wilson. “And now that my son is old enough, and strong enough to come with me, volunteering together has become a real bonding experience for us. Like the saying goes, many hands make light work! ”

“The holidays are traditionally our busiest time of the year, but we are always looking for volunteer drivers and assistants to help us with the 2,000 – 3,000 pick-ups and deliveries that happen every month,” Holly Robinson, Calgary Food Bank Transportation Supervisor explains. “There are no special drivers licenses required and volunteers can use their own vehicle or one of the Food Bank vans.”

Interested in helping? You can call Holly directly at 403-319-0825 or email her today at For information on other opportunities, visit the Calgary Food Bank website Volunteer page today!