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Time, food and funds – A gift from Calgarians

by | Jan 10, 2020 | Blog

The impact of your contributions this holiday season.

Calgary may be a city of over a million, but the heart of this city remains small town and community focused. When times are tough, Calgarians rally and come together to help their neighbours in need. And this holiday season, individuals, families and businesses came together in a big way to make sure that the holidays were happy for everyone. Whether it’s a tin, a truckload, a monetary donation or an hour of time, Calgarians gave with their hearts.

Volunteers are critical to sort food, build hampers and receive donations. Even during the busy holiday season, 907 individuals and 82 groups donated 11,873 hours of their time to help feed YYC.

The Calgary Food Bank’s call centre is always busiest in December, and this year was no exception: 358 volunteers worked 61 shifts to answer 7,793 calls for assistance. These highly trained volunteers compassionately assist clients through the hamper request process, answering an average of 433 calls per day while keeping wait times low. This year, the average call wait time was an all time low of 1.9 minutes.

Food brings us together, especially at the holidays. A food hamper is not just food to fill the pantry, but also meals to share with friends and family. In December, over 7,874 Emergency Food Hampers were distributed to our clients.

Our Food Link program distributed 163,331 pounds of food to our partner organizations. Whether it’s a snack or a meal, food connects people, gives them hope and creates a sense of community.

Food also helps connect our most vulnerable citizens to resources that can make all the difference. 1,726 Hampers for the Homeless were handed out to those in our city experiencing homelessness.


Volunteer Hours WORKED

Emergency Food Hampers Distributed

Value of Food & Funds Donated ($)

Outside of our core programs, we also distributed food to organizations that provided their clients with holiday cheer: 

  • Carter Place, a low-income seniors residence, received food for tenants to use for their Christmas dinner. The tenants come together to share a holiday meal, combating social isolation and creating an opportunity for neighbours to become friends. 
  • The Magic of Christmas received enough food to create hampers for 250 families who otherwise may not have had the fixings for a holiday meal. 
  • Volunteers at Centre Street Church supported vulnerable households in their neighbourhood by building and distributing 271 hampers, not only providing food but a social visit as well.  

None of this would be possible without the generous hearts of our donors. $4.4 million in funds and 1.2 million pounds of food (and counting!) was raised during the giving season. Not only are Calgarians generous, they are creative in their fundraising efforts: reverse advent calendars, Santa bike rides, charity taps, homemade eggnog sales and more, in addition to traditional food drives and our annual campaigns, helped make the difference for so many Calgarians this holiday season. 

Thank you, Calgary, for rallying and helping the Calgary Food Bank provide a happier holiday for those struggling in our community. The gifts of time, food and funds are truly the basic ingredients for a happy holiday! 


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