A bite of information | Blog

Nourishing Minds, Bodies and Spirits

by | May 8, 2019 | Blog

May is Mental Health Awareness month and the Canadian Mental Health Association recognizes May 6-12 as Mental Health Week. With this topic being top-of-mind, we want to explore the link between mental health and food insecurity.

How does food insecurity relate to mental health issues? Consider if you are anxious about running out of food, or stressed about not knowing where your next meal is coming from, or how you will feed your children. This can be crushing to your mental health. If you must sacrifice meals to pay for rent, or make poor dietary decisions because of budget, food insecurity will not only affect your physical health but also your mental health. This can be debilitating, and lead to episodes of depression, withdrawal from friends and activities, or exacerbate already existing conditions. It’s a vicious cycle.

According to PROOF – Food Insecurity Policy Research – Canadian adults living in food insecure households are at a greater risk of poor mental health. From depressive and suicidal thoughts; anxiety and mood disorders; to major depressive episodes, all increasing with the severity of food insecurity. For children, problems like hyperactivity and inattention are elevated. PROOF’s research makes the connection that the experiences of hunger during childhood have a serious and lasting impacts on mental health, manifesting in greater risks of depression and suicidal idealization in adolescence and early adulthood. Add income problems, physical health issues, extensive health care visits combined with the inability to work or go to school, and all of this can contribute to a downward spiral deeper into poverty.

At the Calgary Food Bank we know food is just the beginning of the conversation. We take the stress of food insecurity literally right off the table and help clients make connections to mental health resources. Imagine the relief receiving seven to ten days’ worth of nutritious food; dinners for your family, school lunches for the kids. Being food secure can lead to resiliency. The health effects of a quality emergency food hamper together with utilizing the amazing mental health resources in the community can create a better sense of self, better able to cope with stress and get you on a path to enjoying life!

For more information or assistance,
contact the following mental health resources:

Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region
Access Mental Health
Distress Centre

Share this post

Recent Posts

In the spirit of reconciliation, the Calgary Food Bank acknowledges that we live, work and play on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.

Calgary Food Bank

5000 11 Street SE
Calgary, AB T2H 2Y5


By appointment only
Monday to Friday: 8:00 am – 11:00 am

Donation Centre, Door 7

Monday to Thursday: 8:00 am – 7:30 pm
Friday and Saturday: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm


Monday to Thursday: 8:15 am – 7:00 pm
Friday: 8:15 am – 4:00 pm

Or book online



Monday to Thursday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm


5020 12A Street SE
Calgary, AB T2G 5K9


Reception: 403-253-2059


© 2020 Calgary Food Bank. All rights reserved. | Charitable # 130 167 349 RR0001

Translate ››