When people ask ‘How are things going at the Food Bank?’, and the question is asked more than ever at this time of year, I find it difficult to answer.
Do I tell them that need is 8% greater than last year and at an all time high? That more children are going hungry, unable to focus in school? Is it appropriate to mention that their neighbour or their friend’s children need food? But they already know this. Numbers only tell part of the story.
This economic crisis is not new, but the ripple effects continue. Our neighbours, colleagues, friends and family members confirm that Calgary continues to feel the sting. Still, the resilience that is so familiar to our city is not gone. These last few years tested each and every one of us, but hope is not extinguished. Thanks to our community, more volunteers than ever work hard to make things easier. The Calgary Food Bank is able to keep pace with demand, even after so many years of economic and community challenges.
What I answer is that tens of thousands of Calgarians and their families have food and connections to resolutions because of your generosity and support. Millions of meals are on plates because you care all year round. Calgary is a better place because of you.
I think that this time of year we must re-frame “need”. We need to give our neighbours a hug and a cup of hot chocolate while we look ahead to opportunity. We need to hold open the door for others, knowing that someone will hold the door for us. We need to remember that Calgary is a great place to achieve our potential, and sometimes we just need a little help. We must promise ourselves to act this way all year round. These are the new needs we must greet with joy and happiness.
We are inspired by Calgary’s generosity, and their ability to honour Christmas in their hearts all year round.
Thank you for making the Calgary Food Bank part of your family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Calgary Food Bank CEO