Annual report | Blog
COMMUNITY IN ACTION
The Calgary Food Bank’s Food Link Program connects over 56 community partners to help improve the lives of Calgarians who need it most. By providing bulk food and supplies for partners to prepare meals, these organizations can focus their resources on their programs that deal with root causes of food insecurity.
Melody Brown Foster, Director of Operations and Administration at the Calgary Dream Centre says the partnership with the Calgary Food Bank is invaluable; “We save over $180,000 annually because of the food support we receive through the Calgary Food Bank’s Food Link Program.”
Amanda is one of countless Calgarians who sought help from the Dream Centre. Her story inspires! (Link to Story)
One of the hardest nights for me on the streets was trying to sleep outside in – 30℃. It was so cold and snowy. I can only describe the hunger I experienced, to what I imagine a diabetic would experience when their blood sugar levels are low. You are so deprived of food; that you begin to shake. At one point, I was only 95 lbs. I could count every rib on my body and my eyes looked dark and sunken in.”
Amanda now works full-time at the Dream Centre, one of the Calgary Food Bank’s community partners. She says that like in many homes, the kitchen is at the heart of how we connect with our people. It’s where we gather to develop a connection. Amanda says that she enjoys creating meals with whatever type of food happens to be donated in a given week. “It allows for creativity. For example, in the fall a massive donation of assorted squash arrived at the Dream Centre kitchen and I learned a bunch of ways to prepare it”. Often feeding over 100 people each day, Amanda says that she not only learned to make soups and salads with vegetables, but she also learned to bake goods and create meals”. She says the menu is constantly changing based on donations. The Dream Centre serves three hot breakfasts a week as well as lunch, dinner and snacks. Amanda reinforces the importance of the food donated, “It goes a long way, and there’s very little waste in our kitchen.” What she likes most about working there is seeing how a nutritious and hot meal helps someone who is struggling. “Those of us in recovery can tell if it’s not a good day. It’s easier to connect with someone over a hot meal; it helps to create family at the Centre, which is so important.”
Last year, the Calgary Food Bank donated 86,080 pounds of food to the Dream Centre.