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403.253.2059 5000 11 St SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2Y5

City Wide Food Drive

On Sept. 19, it's all happening again!

About

Sept. 19 is the city’s largest single-day food drive and this year’s annual event happens when the Calgary Food Bank is heading into a period of high demand.

“We have seen a steady increase in the number of new clients due to the downturn in the economy and we anticipate that to continue through the Fall,” said Keoma Duce, Development Coordinator for the Calgary Food Bank

“Budgets are already stretched but when you add back-to-school expenses or a job loss this can create a crisis where many families find they need emergency food support. So this food drive is critical to ensuring we have the quality food for Calgarians in need.”

For the past 11 years, 7,000 families volunteer to make this important event happen. The week prior to the food drive, volunteers leave collection bags and information flyers on the doorsteps of neighbourhoods throughout the city.

The donations are then picked up from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Non-perishable food donations may also be brought to the warehouse until 5 p.m.

Can’t take part on that day? Donate now instead!

City Wide facts

  • This is the 11th year of City Wide Food Drive
  • Last year, 2014, we collected 489,570 lbs of food
  • The first City-Wide Food Drive was on Sept. 10, 2005. It collected 290,810 lbs of food at this time and a total of 3,978,938 lbs since its inception.
  • In 2008, Calgary held the Guinness Book of World Records status for the ‘largest food drive in 24 hours – single location’ with a total 511,102b lbs of food.
  • The title was taken in 2011 and is currently being held by the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics in Durham, NC, USA with 559,885 lbs. Tried again last year for the the food drive’s 10 anniversary and collected 489,570 lbs.
  • More than 7,000 families volunteer to make this important food drive happen.

How it works

  • The week prior to the food drive, volunteers leave collection bags and information flyers on the doorsteps of neighborhoods throughout the city.
  • Residents that choose to participate are asked to leave the donation bag of non perishable food items on their doorsteps in a visible spot from the street.
  • On Saturday, Sept. 19, families pick up donations from 10 a.m. through to 1 p.m.
  • Non-perishable food items may also be brought to the warehouse on event day until 5 p.m.
  • Donations not picked up by 1 p.m. can call 587-316-1623 on Saturday, Sept 19.
  • Or, residents can donate funds instead!

Why we do it

  • This one day food drive happens at an important time of year when the Food Bank is heading into a period of high demand.
  • As a result of the recent downturn in the economy, the demand at many of the food banks in Alberta has been high, and Calgary is no exception.
  • We have families and individuals coming in every day for emergency food. Many have lost their jobs, have used up their resources and are still waiting for EI support to come through.
  • There was an influx in the early spring (February and March), up to 23% increase in new clients compared to last year.
  • Those numbers did ease in May when EI cheques started coming through.
  • Have seen an increase in recent months (June and July), up to 16% in hampers and new clients compared to last year.
  • Now an increase in the number of times people need help. Typically where one hamper was good, people now need 2 to 3 to get back on their feet. (Maybe realizing EI not getting them through as expected)
  • This one-day food drive collects more than half a million pounds of non-perishables – that will last two weeks.