Food or funds

Please welcome Guest Blogger D.D. Coutts, Calgary Food Bank Communications & Development Manager, on a topic that has created much conversation: Food or funds?

People often ask if it is better to give money or food. We say both. We could not possibly afford to purchase the amount of food we need in the course of a year, and we need funds to ensure we keep our doors open.

An updated re-print of the article that pleads with donors to give money instead of food to food banks is stirring up confusion. Unfortunately, the misinformation in the article may harm the Calgary Food Bank’s ability to assist Calgarians.

The Calgary Food Bank does not endorse the article’s statement that monetary donations are preferred to food donations. Instead, we work together with many types of donors, from individuals, to community groups, as well as retail and manufacturing partners, to secure the most usable food donations. We also need funds to run our trucks, keep our doors open and refrigerators operational.

We are so grateful to the thousands of people and companies that thoughtfully provide gifts of food that align with Canada’s Food Guide. The generosity of Calgarians ensures that we see 12 to 16 million pounds of food come through our doors each year to support people who need our help.

Without generous food donations, we would need to raise $24 to $32 million just to purchase food. We would still need additional funds to keep the freezers running and the forklifts moving.

Smaller food banks in more rural communities may need funds instead of food. Lower populations mean less opportunity to work with retail food partners and donors who can access food stores.

Food Banks Canada and The Calgary Food Bank encourage donors to donate food, funds and time to local food banks. If you want to help, ask your local food banks about what’s needed most. When donors make gifts, they want to know that the gift truly made a difference. What better way to know than to simply ask the question.

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