Community Liaison | Blog

Collaborating for Change

May 4, 2022

Thoughts On Collective Impact in the Food Insecurity Sector 

All Calgary Food Bank operations and activities are underlined by our strategic priorities: Feed, Lead, Connect. These three priorities speak to our focus on fighting hunger now, our role as a catalyst in inspiring, engaging, and empowering community, as well as working to strengthen our network to address root causes of food insecurity. 

The ‘Connect’ priority refers to the work that we do with our partner organizations to tackle root causes of food insecurity. Food insecurity is a complex social problem that no organization or individual can solve alone. We know that food banks are not a solution to food insecurity, but through sharing data and building community partnerships, we can help paint the picture about how we, as Calgary’s social sector, can effectively tackle food insecurity. We say help paint a picture because we all have a role to play painting a future without food insecurity.  

By integrating community services  
we build the collective impact and capacity of our network.

At the Calgary Food Bank, we have quantitative data to tell stories. Our partners have their unique data sets, and people experiencing food insecurity have lived experiences of accessing the systems set up to provide food and tackle root causes of food insecurity. Only they can tell us, the sector, what is working and what is not. Organizations operating food programs understand the gaps that exist in the system and can amplify the voices who experience first-hand, the impact that food insecurity has. Between us, we have a colorful palette to start painting together.  

In 2021 three major reports were released: Connecting Upstream and Downstream Approaches to Food Security in Calgary by the Institute for Community Prosperity, Examining Calgary’s Emergency Food Assistance System by Enough for All, and COVID-19 Impact on the Calgary Food Bank by the Calgary Food Bank.  They documented the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity and the successes and failures of how people get food in Calgary. Yet all these reports are viewed and digested in isolation – imagine if we had sat down to create one comprehensive report. If we had collectively integrated our findings and research methods, and we have coordinated our recommendations to produce a cohesive action plan for the sector.   

It is our responsibility as a community to collectively  
select our paint color, coordinate our brushstrokes, and paint together  
with the intention of influencing decision makers. 

We will use ‘Spill the Beans’, our partner network newsletter, as an opportunity to showcase the events, programs, research, and projects that organizations across the network have underway. Only through collaboration and continuous learning can we catalyze action on the decisions and measures that will address food insecurity and its root causes. If you have something that you’d like to distribute to increase transparency and collaboration for the food insecurity sector, please email Laura Harrisson at 

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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


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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


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Friday: 8:15 am – 4:00 pm

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Friday: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm


5020 12A Street SE
Calgary, AB T2G 5K9


Reception: 403-253-2059


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