COMFORT FOOD | Newsletter
COVID IMPACT REPORT
In times of crisis, we are ‘first in, last out,’ meaning that the impacts of a crisis are felt earlier and last longer than many other organizations. The pandemic is no exception. Unemployed Calgarians were 3 times as likely to be food insecure. In March 2020 unemployment levels were at 8.9%. By April 2020, the proportion of new clients accessing the Calgary food bank clients increase by 70%, citing difficulties introduced by the pandemic as the number one reason for accessing food supports.
The Calgary Food Bank has released a report outlining our experience so far with COVID-19 across five key areas: Operations, Partner Organizations, Fund Development, Volunteers, and Clients. As an emergency response organization, the Calgary Food Bank (CFB) is first to observe the impact of crises in our community and continues to observe it long after the world moves on. Holding this position is a responsibility we take extremely seriously. The CFB collects and analyzes extensive quantitative and qualitative data and continued this practice throughout COVID-19. We believe we owe it to our
community to share what we have observed with the intention of informing future pandemic response planning and contributing to a better understanding of the food insecurity landscape in times of crisis and beyond. This report is our first step towards making local food insecurity data more accessible. Read more in the full Covid Report here. Or see a video presentation of the report here.
Amy has been volunteering on our Board of Directors since 2014, serving as Chair for the past six years. Prior to this important role, she gave back to the community through company volunteering activities as well as for her sons’ soccer club. When she is not golfing, travelling, or enjoying action movies on the big screen, Amy is busy helping her handyman husband with retaining wall, firewood shed and pergola projects. No feat is too small for this go-getter!
Amy is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over 25 years of business experience in the Energy industry. Amy is currently the VP Finance of a mid-size oil and gas company overseeing the Finance and IT functions and brings vast experience in the areas of financial reporting, planning, treasury, governance, audit, risk, and strategy. She has held senior positions in both Canadian and US publicly listed energy companies and have participated in number of large-scale financing and business combination transactions.
Amy has been Treasurer and Chair of the Audit Committee and currently, is the Chair of the Board of Directors. She is passionate about the wellbeing of the community and is honored to be able to utilize her skills and professional experience to work alongside the team at the Calgary Food Bank to help fight food insecurity in Calgary.
*Do You Know*
WHAT’S IN OUR EMERGENCY FOOD HAMPER?
We are striving to create a hunger-free community by fighting hunger and its root cause. Addressing the food is our first step in triaging people’s emergency, then we make critical connections for them with our community partners and their programs.
Last year 88,177 Emergency Food Hampers were distributed resulting in 4.1 million meals with a value of $30.9 million.
The Emergency Food Hamper Program is at the core of our mission and what we do every day. Our food hampers contain seven days worth of nutritious food for each person. When the stress of providing food is literally taken off the table, the emergency can then be addressed.
An emergency food hamper not only relieves a client’s hunger and provides nutritious food, but also relieves financial pressures. A hamper for four people has an estimated market value of $368. For those having difficulties making ends meet, $368 is a significant amount that can now go towards other expenses such as transportation, health care, or the needs of children or other dependents. When clients were surveyed, they told us that they now had money they could use to pay rent, utilities, childcare bills, and more.
Each hamper contains a wide variety of food so people can prepare delicious, healthy meals. Each hamper contains 28% fruits and vegetables, 26% protein, and 16% whole grains. The Canada Food Guide recommends that, when possible, we should be consuming whole grain breads, pasta and brown rice. Therefore, the remaining 30%, classified as ‘other’, now includes white bread, pasta and rice as well as treats like chips and drinks as well as baking supplies.
It is important to regularly evaluate our hamper content, implementing the advice and expertise of dietitians and nutritionists and to let our donors know what the best items are to donate. In our Annual Report, read about the Emergency Food Hamper program and how we impacted those who needed food support.
Partners In Action
New Community Liaison Team
We have a new team in-place at the Calgary Food Bank and we are very excited about the work they are doing within our community. Laura and Michelle started their Food Bank journeys within the Emergency Food Hamper Program where they spoke with many courageous individuals facing food insecurity due to challenges with mental health, employment, cost of childcare, and so much more. In their new roles, they are eager to deepen relationships with partner organizations and develop stronger ties with the community to reduce stress and get to the root causes of food insecurity. To connect with them, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The holiday season is well behind us, and we look forward to a bright new year ahead. We were once again amazed by the incredible support of Calgarians. Holiday giving to the Calgary Food Bank exceeded our wildest expectations – and for that, we thank you. Over $13 million in food and funds were raised, ensuring we can help families and individuals with emergency food support this year.
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