COMFORT FOOD | Newsletter

Fall 2021

Feature Story

Joel Perry

Joel Perry spent 38 years in the insurance business before exchanging his briefcase for keys to one of our 5-ton trucks. “I took a pay cut and haven’t had one day of regret since.” The saying: ‘do what you love, and you won’t work a day in your life’ are words Joel lives by every time he comes to work at the Calgary Food Bank to collect food for fellow Calgarians who are experiencing food insecurity.

I recently had the pleasure of doing a ride-along to see, hear and experience all Joel does on a typical Monday route. We visited 12 grocery stores and collected over 4000 pounds of food. From single cans of soup and veggies to cases of frozen meat and yoghurt to racks of bread and buns; we had quite the haul! And that was just one truck, in one day. We have nine drivers that work tirelessly rescuing viable food as well as gathering thousands of pounds of donations from generous shoppers getting their own groceries and when doing so, think of others.

Joel effortlessly hops out of the truck, pops into the stores and makes his connection. A quick wave and a good morning, maybe a moment to catch-up, but he’s focused on the task at-hand. He efficiently loads the back of the truck with what the store has ready for him. Some have cases of food, others trays of bread, and almost everyone has a big haul of pre-bagged “most needed items” like pasta and canned tomatoes. Joel gingerly and quickly organizes everything into giant boxes which will eventually be sorted by eager volunteers.

On our second to last stop, we met the infamous Carol, a cashier at the Safeway on 130th Avenue. Having a close relative who needed to access the food bank at one time, she knows first-hand how important it is to give back. She makes it her personal mission to ask all customers she meets to consider donating, and many joyfully take her up on the offer. Seeing friendly folks like Carol is a great part of the day for Joel and almost six hours later, when we roll back to the warehouse, Joel says that knowing he is helping to feed people who, for whatever reason need some support, is 100% the best part of his job.

What’s new at the Food Bank

Holiday season is just around the corner!

The jolly season is just around the corner; the time to think about gift-giving, including what you’d like to receive and how you want to celebrate those in your life. We have three great ideas to help you make the most of the holiday season.
James and Josh looking at building plans.
Give the gift of time.

Gather your family and friends and give even a few hours a month to help feed hungry Calgarians this holiday season and into the New Year.

Emma and her Mom

For the children in your life, make reading fun and purchase a copy of the delightful children’s book, “Emma and Food Bank”.

James and Josh looking at building plans.
For the person who has everything, send a gift of hope.

Donate in honour of your friends, families and coworkers. Make your gift online and select your favourite holiday card to be sent to a loved one. Prefer a card sent in the mail? Call us at 403-253-2059 to make your donation over the phone.

“I loved my time working in the baby room during my layoff due to Covid! I miss it now that I’m working again. I was so happy to volunteer my time to help the greater community and it also helped anchor me during a difficult time. The team was wonderful and helped me feel connected when I was feeling lost without my job of over 12 years. It was so great to have somewhere to be that allowed me to contribute in a meaningful way. Shout out to Lily who always answered my questions and was a friendly face every week and to the ladies who checked us in and made sure everyone stayed safe and healthy!”
Charmane Zeigner
Partners In Action

Mosiac Primary Care Network

Mikala Wilson is a Primary Care Dietitian with Mosaic Primary Care Network (PCN) and a former volunteer with the Calgary Food Bank. In the spring of 2020, she volunteered in the food distribution area and a few months later, she was asked to help with Food Hamper Nutrition Analysis. Thanks to the generosity of her employer Mosaic PCN, she is here one day a week to support our teams. Mikala has already analyzed our renal, Celiac, and general emergency food hampers. She created an outline for recommendations that line up with the Canada Food Guide, and along with support from her colleagues at Mosaic PCN, she has been able to advise how we can better serve our population with more nutritious offerings.

Some of the work she has done has been to create a comprehensive content guide for Celiac hampers to protect clients that may have Celiac Disease. For our renal hampers, Mikala made guidelines and recommendations to limit salt intake. We are so excited that Mikala will continue to assist in the analysis of our hampers for the foreseeable future. Mikala says, “I want to ensure all our hampers contain as much nutritious food as possible, so the vulnerable in our city receive the greatest health benefits, and my dream is to create diabetic/heart health hampers.” While it will take time for all of this to become a reality, her vision of a healthier community continues to inspire us as we work collectively with others to continue to provide food support to those who need it.

 “I want to ensure all our hampers contain as much nutritious food as possible, so the vulnerable in our city receive the greatest health benefits, and my dream is to create diabetic/heart health hampers.” – Mikala

Mikala Wilson - Mosiac Partnership
James McAra

Best before vs expiry dates

Do you know the difference between a Best Before date and an expiration date? They are separate labels with different requirements and purpose. Understanding the difference provides insight into why we distribute food near or past it’s Best Before date and why this is safe and how it can contribute to a hunger-free community.

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Learn More About What We Do

About Us

Together, we fight hunger and its root causes because no one should go hungry.


Volunteers are essential to greet, chat, sort, guide, build, engage, and so much more.

Annual Report

The annual report highlights the activities, achievements and impact in the past year.

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


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