403-253-2059 | info@calgaryfoodbank.com
The Calgary Food Bank

About us

The Calgary Food Bank is the first line of emergency food support for families and individuals facing crisis. Once the food emergency is addressed, we refer food bank clients to our proven partner agencies and programs. Our deep collaboration and food support to hundreds of other charitable organizations that address the root causes of food insecurity aligns with our mission to work with our community to fight hunger.

We are the most accessible food bank in Calgary serving families, individuals and organizations. We are not a government or United Way agency. We rely solely on the generous support of the community.

Calgary Food Bank Truck

Feeding YYC

We relieve food insecurity and provide support for clients who are experiencing emergency situations. We alleviate the stress of wondering where the next meal is coming from.

Volunteerism

Volunteers provided more than 55% of the hours needed to keep the food moving. From youth to seniors, weekly, daily; volunteers fuel this organization. Volunteers are our lifeblood.

Partnerships

Our vital Food Industry partnerships provide 80% of our food donations. Our Food Industry partners help us to provide food to over 220 agencies that work to address the root causes of poverty.
Our History

Who we are

Over the years, The Calgary Food Bank has grown from a small not-for-profit in a church basement run by 4 volunteers, into a million dollar charitable organization in a 60,000 square foot building with 9,000 volunteers. It all started in 1982 when different religious leaders in the community were already collecting food and giving to those in need. They decided to join forces to make the most impact within their community and the Calgary Food Bank was born.

At the same time the enormous economic downturn in Alberta as a direct result of the National Energy Program forced thousands of oil industry workers into unemployment. Many declared bankruptcy and also remained unemployed or underemployed for five years. The need for a food bank was greater than ever.

During this time, the Food Bank also began to partner with manufacturers, transportation companies and distributors to redirect usable but unwanted food. Food shipments that may be turned down by retailers for many reasons such as outdated packaging; unsold product due to consumer shortfalls; as well as items past their best-before dates. This food was usable, fit for consumption and allowed us to fill pantries, not landfills, from the very beginning.

Since the early days, partnerships were established with trucking companies and distribution centres to divert refused trailers of food from the landfill to the Food Bank. Then in 2007, the Calgary Food Bank formed a Food Industry Advisory Committee, consisting of industry senior management and owners. An infrastructure was created to redirect products that cannot be sold due to short date, damage, refusal, overstock, packaging issues, end of run or seasonal issues, at the same time maintaining a safe supply of nutritious food for clients and charities. By 2013, 82% of the food collected came from the food industry partnerships.

Holding a sprouting plant

Mission

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

Vision

A hunger-free community.

Values

  • All people are treated with compassion, dignity, and understanding.
  • Our clients deserve the most nutritious food we provide.
  • The best way to address food insecurity is in collaboration with others.
  • Volunteerism is our strength and primary resource, 90% of critical jobs performed at the Food Bank are done by our volunteers.
  • We are accountable to our community for the programs and services we deliver.
  • We are responsible and transparent stewards of the resources entrusted to us by our community.
  • We encourage leadership at all levels.
  • Safety in our operations is paramount.
Beets
Did You know?

Fast Facts

Numbers reflect our fiscal year, September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018.

Lives Affected

Volunteer Hours A Year

emergency hampers distributed

Agency Programs
About us

Our History

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1982

After a visit to a food bank in Arizona, the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank Society was created in December of 1982. Operations soon moved from the First Lutheran Church to more spacious quarters with some refrigeration at Baker House. All of the work was carried out by volunteers and two paid staff.

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1983

In the fall of 1983 we moved into the basement of the Ross Kerr Building (Kensington NW) Volunteers answered phones, gleaned, stacked, packed and delivered 40 hampers per day and bulk foods to Calgary agencies.

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1984

Another move! This time to old supermarket on 5 Street and 8 Avenue SE with Safeway sponsoring rent and utility costs.

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1986

Demolition was scheduled for this old Safeway so we were on the move again, this time to a warehouse in south Chinook location (6408 – 1A Street SW).

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1989

Incorporated under the Societies Act as the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank.

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1993

Moved into a larger facility (7475 Flint Road SE) due to the repairs needed at the previous location. Client numbers were also increasing due to social service and welfare cuts, plus changes to the employment insurance rules.

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1997

The ‘boom’ of the oil & gas industry saw an influx of people migrating to Alberta.  Client numbers continued to increase as many arrived with no secure employment, home or family network.

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1999

April 27, 1999 A new Mission Statement was adopted “To gather, provide and distribute emergency food to the hungry in our community, through solicitation of food, funds and services and affiliation with others who share our vision.”

December 1999 Extra food supplies were stored as part of the Y2K preparations in anticipation of large scale computer and technical failures when clocks moved forward to the new millennium.

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2000

The Food Bank found a permanent home  (5000 – 11 Street SE) in a 60,000 square foot warehouse.

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2013

September 12, 2013 Marked 30 years of service with a time capsule ceremony.

June 21, 2013 The flood of the century evacuated 75,000 people from 25 neighbourhoods and closed the downtown core. C.E.M.A put out the call for donations and everyday for more than six weeks, 18,000 lbs of critically-needed food items were sent to 110 organizations on the ground in Calgary, central and southern Alberta.

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2014

The Weekends and More program began and supported 240 students in its pilot year.

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2015

The Fort McMurray wildfire forced the largest evacuation in Alberta history. We delivered 350,000 pounds of food to area food banks supporting displaced families and raised more than $62,000 for the Wood Buffalo Food Bank.

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2016

A new mission statement was adopted “Together, we fight hunger and its root causes because no one should go hungry.”

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2016-2017

Downturn in the Alberta economy saw a record 184,500 lives affected and 90,860 hampers to families and individuals in crisis

Working together

Our Affiliates

Charity Intelligence
Member Community Knowledge Centre
Imagine Canada

This was my first visit to the Calgary Food Bank. I was never treated better in my time of need. Thank you ALL.

This place is so wonderful, helpful and friendly! The amazing generosity is a plus, too! As someone coming just for myself, not a family, you probably gave me enough food for a month! Thank you so much! P.S. The woman helper in the foyer with the side snapped hat, so elegant and nice!

Thank you soooo much for the Food Hampers for the past four years. As a student and single mother, the food bank has helped my family greatly with providing healthy meals. My hope is that one day I will be able to give back the way the food bank has given to me and my family. Thank you.

Who would have ever thought to university-educated, well-traveled people with $200,000 income, two cars, pets and would end up homeless after the flood? Yep, that happened to us! We lost absolutely everything including both dogs. Of course many lives were changed for ever and many where homeless as a result. We're both only children, no parents (both sets deceased) and we had to start from square one. We were fortunate to be housed thanks to U of C alumni for one month. Vacancy rates being as atrocious as they are (less than 1 per cent at the time) equaled horrific circumstances. So, once we found adequate housing, we stocked up our fridge and freezer compliments of the Calgary Food Bank. We came on our own three times and were referred by agencies twice, making that five times. The volunteers on the lines of interaction are awesome. Thank you for everything. We couldn't have made it through without the help of our neighbours.

I would have never thought I would be in need of food for my family and have no money to do so. I pay the bills and have no food, or buy food and pay no bills. From a well paying job to no job. But things are slowly turning around. To all of you a heartfelt thank-you! Your patience, understanding, empathy and kindness has made this difficult and embarrassing time a lot easier. myself and my children will not forget! As soon as things are back on track we will be back, but this time to volunteer. To help others as you have all helped us. All our best to you and your families.

I was laid off recently and the bills have been overwhelming. I am so grateful for all your volunteers, staff and the great kindness and enormous generosity of Calgarians. When I was in line, I was touched almost to tears and opening the bags when I got home was like Christmas! Thank you from me and my son.

Be part of the change

How you can help

Donate Food

Help create a healthy meal by donating our most needed items.

Donate Funds

Donate funds securely online, by mail or in person.

Volunteer

Donate your time. Volunteers are our lifeblood.

Host an event

Get creative and engage your community, host your own event.

Donate Food

Help create a healthy meal by donating our most needed items.

Host an event

Get creative and engage your community, host your own event.

Donate Funds

Donate funds securely online, by mail or in person.

Volunteer

Donate your time. Volunteers are our lifeblood.

CONTACT US
ADDRESS

5000 11 St SE
Calgary, AB T2H 2Y5

Main line: 403-253-2059
Fax: 403-259-4240
info@calgaryfoodbank.com

NEED FOOD?
CALL TO REQUEST A HAMPER
403-253-2055

Monday to Thursday: 10:30 am – 7:15 pm
Friday: 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

HAMPER PICK-UP
CALGARY FOOD BANK LOCATION

Monday: 1 – 3:30 pm, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Tuesday to Thursday:
10:30 am – 3:30 pm, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Friday: 10:30 am – 3:30 pm

HOURS
ADMINISTRATION

Monday to Thursday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 4 pm

FOOD LINK

Monday to Friday: 7 am – 2 pm

LOADING DOCK, DOOR 3

Monday to Thursday: 8 am – 7:30 pm
Friday: 8 am – 3 pm

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