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

City Wide Food Drive

SEPTEMBER 16, 2017 / 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Fall can be a stressful time of year for many, from worrying about back-to-school expenses to seeing increased lighting and heating costs. At the Calgary Food Bank we are still experiencing high demand with many finding they are in need of emergency food support as they continue to reel for the economic downturn.

That is why thousands of volunteers come together each year for the City-Wide Food Drive. For one week every September, they deliver hundreds of thousands of donation bags to the front doors of homes across the city. Generous Calgarians then fill those bags with healthy, nutritional, and much needed non-perishable food that is picked up by the volunteers on Saturday, September 16.

The target is to collect a half million pounds of food in one day! 

It’s a lofty goal, but Calgarians are known for their good and generous hearts, especially during tough times.  When it comes to neighbor helping neighbor, the City-Wide Food Drive really is a true community event!

It’s a family affair!

Brent, Judy, Erik, Dave, Sophie, Brenda, Rhys, and Lauryn; three generations of family volunteers who have made the City Wide Food Drive an annual family tradition. (Photo by Judi Lee)

For the Clark and Anderson families, three generations of family members have volunteered for the past 10 years.  “We’ve gone with our grandchildren a couple of times, and it was great!” says Judy Clark.   “We drove, and they ran and collected the bags.  Sometimes folks were so generous, it took three kids to collect the bags from a single house, and that really impressed the kids!  It was a joy to establish a family tradition with them of helping our communities.”

The Clark’s 8 year old grandson Erik Anderson says, “I think about how people will like all the good food, and how they’d be happy to see all the kinds of foods!”

Big sister Lauryn adds, “Everyone collects so much food, and then we fill semi-trucks full of food, and it really adds up.  It must make such a difference.”

How it works

Now in its 13th year, the City-Wide Food Drive is an easy and convenient way for you to help fill the shelves at the Food Bank as seasonal need for food hampers increases.

  • The week of September 11, volunteers leave collection bags and information flyers on the doors 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. 16, families pick up donations from 10 a.m. through to 2 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 2 p.m. can call 587-316-1623 on Saturday, Sept 19.
  • Or, residents can donate funds instead!

Did you know?

  • More than 7,000 volunteers make this important food drive happen.
  • Last year, 460,448 pounds of food and $15,881 in funds were collected.
  • The first City-Wide Food Drive was on Sept. 10, 2005 and collected 290,810 pounds of food.
  • More than 4.8 million pounds of food and $300,000 in funds has been collected since the food drive’s 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. We tried again in 2014 for the food drive’s 10 anniversary and collected 489,570 lbs.

2016 Fun Facts

Over 7,000
300,000 bags
460,448 lbs
of food
7 Drop off
Semi trailers

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I participate?

  1. Bags will be delivered to single family homes across the city of Calgary from September 11 to 15, 2017.
  2. Look for your bag and fill it with non-perishable food items.
  3. Place the bag in a visible location on your front step or front walk on September 16, 2017 by 10 a.m.
  4. A volunteer will pick up your bag on September 16 between 10 a.m and 2 p.m.

What time will my bag be picked up?

Place the bag in a visible location on your front step or front walk on September 16, 2017 by 10 a.m. A volunteer will pick up your bag on Saturday, September 16 between 10 a.m and 2 p.m.

I didn’t receive a Food Drive bag. Can I still participate?

Absolutely! If you live in an apartment, condominium or multifamily home and don’t receive a Food Drive bag you can still participate in the City-Wide Food Drive. You can fill any shopping bag or a box and bring it to the Calgary Food Bank at 5000 11 St SE between noon and 7 p.m on Saturday, September 16, 2017.

What can I put in the bag?

Please put non-perishable foods such as canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned meat, jars of baby food, etc. Please do not donate food items that may spoil such as fresh meats or fresh produce as it may be a few days before your donation is sorted and the food will not be able to be used. Visit our wishlist to see our most needed items.

My bag wasn’t picked up. What should I do?

Due to the large scale of the Food Drive, donations are occasionally missed – but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need or want your donation!

If your bag is missed, please call 587-316-1623 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on September 16, 2017.

Leave your bag out, and a volunteer will pick your bag up in the evening.

The phone line was closed when I called. Now what can I do?

The call centre is open until 5 p.m, but you may not have noticed that your bag wasn’t picked up until after 5 p.m. Due to the large scale of the Food Drive, donations are occasionally missed – but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need or want your donation! If you are able to, please take your donation to the Calgary Food Bank donation bin at your local grocery store and it will be picked up by the Calgary Food Bank.

Can a monetary donation be made instead of food?

Yes! Should you wish to make an online donation towards the City-Wide Food Drive, you can go to our online fundraising page and click “Donate”. If you wish to mail a cheque, they can be made out to Calgary Food Bank and mailed to 5000 11 St SE, Calgary AB, T2H 2Y5.

I received a bag, but what if I don’t want to participate?

We apologize for any inconvenience that the donation bag may have caused. The bag is 100% recyclable so it may be put into your recycling bin.

Donate a healthy meal

Want to know more?

Connect with us!

Keoma Duce:    Email    403-319-0840

  /calgaryfooddrive    @FoodDriveYYC