2016 was another tough year for Calgarians and the Calgary Food Bank continued to experience unprecedented demand. But as we close the books on the holiday season, we can humbly say that you were unprecedentedly generous.
With this generosity, you have entrusted us to be responsive to the community’s needs, providing emergency hampers and food supplies to the programs families and individuals are accessing. One such example of how we are affecting lives together is the story of a young father we profiled in December. In a follow-up note, he told us that “January was the first month in a long time that we didn’t need to get a referral or use the food bank. This makes me feel great that we are crawling out of a bad situation. Slowly but surely things are getting better. As I always tell my boys, with hard work and hope you can overcome anything.”
Many of you are giving now, when you can, understanding this is a turbulent economy where a job loss coupled with increased expenses or a sudden illness can be the tipping point that drains our resources. When there is the difficult choice between paying the heating bill or purchasing groceries, we are glad we are here to help, possible only because of your support.
During the month of December, Calgarians came together for their neighbours in need, donating at community events, through corporate matching programs, online pledges, and holiday campaigns. In total, more than $2 million in food and $5.5 million in funds were raised.
Calgary Food Bank CEO James McAra says “we wish we could say that there was no need for a food bank and that there was no hunger in Calgary. Unfortunately the need is still high and from our first-hand experience, we do not expect it to ease any time soon. We know that Calgarians are still struggling and thanks to our community, we will continue to ensure that no one goes hungry.” Thank you Calgary. We are truly community owned and community supported.