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Providing food support during unprecedented times
2020 was a year like no other in recent memory as the Covid-19 Pandemic touched every single person in our community in some way. It also affected every aspect of how we collect and provide food support to Calgarians; in less than 48 hours we adapted to protocols so that we could meet the growing number of requests. The subsequent economic collapse saw a continuing increase in demand for our services. Thankfully, the Premier declared food banks in Alberta an essential service allowing us to stay open to meet the critical food needs of our neighbours.
Despite the many unknowns the pandemic presented in the early part of the year, we were able to continue to support the community because of the generosity of Calgarians. Events and food drives had to be cancelled; but we were able to collect donations from grocery stores. while some individuals and businesses made their way to us to drop-off donations. Calgarians once again rose to the challenge and found creative ways to help collect food and funds to support those vulnerable in our community.
“I am exceedingly thankful to the Food Bank for delivering the hamper during the lockdown as I thought I couldn’t go. I have asthma that is dangerous if I have any respiratory illness, so I was scared. Great food is such a relief.”
– Food Bank Client
Over the years, our core volunteers have been older adults but with the nature of Covid-19 putting this segment of the population at-risk; we needed to reach out to the broader community for support. Once again, Calgarians stepped-up and in days we had dozens of new volunteers, many of whom had lost their jobs or felt a strong pull to simply help during the crisis. We had to change the number and size of shifts and implement physical distancing as well as enhanced safety measures to ensure everyone was protected.
In addition to our Emergency Hamper Program that most are familiar with, we offered support through other initiatives: Food Link, Weekends and More and Hampers for the Homeless Programs. Please take a moment to read our annual report to learn more about them and how we fared last year.
We partnered with hundreds of food industry organizations through our Food Rescue and Food Share Programs. We received perfectly viable food that may have been near their perishable date, overstocked, had labelling errors or bent packaging. The pandemic meant that we had to be flexible in receiving these donations on a moment’s notice and support distributing to food banks around the province.
in funds donated
pounds of food rescued