403-253-2059 | info@calgaryfoodbank.com

Charity Intelligence

Charity Intelligence was founded to help donors identify which charities most closely align to their giving priorities. They rate organizations based on donor accountability, financial transparency, funding needs and cost-efficiency. We have a 5-star rating, and were included in the Top 5 Calgary Impact Charities of 2020. This page is an overview of the information we are graded on.

Food insecurity is a serious health problem in Canada. It is associated with poorer health, psychological, social, and emotional outcomes. In Alberta, one in ten individuals experience food insecurity, with 17% children living in food insecure households. The existence of food banks is becoming more important as the need for these facilities by families increases. The Calgary Food Bank constantly collecting feedback from our clients, partner agencies, donors, and volunteers. By asking questions and analyzing the responses, we commit to continuous improvement. For a more comprehensive look at our financial overview, please refer to our audited financials.


The Calgary Food Bank is the city’s main charitable food hub and the first line of support for anyone facing a food emergency. Addressing the food is our first step in triaging their emergency, then we make critical connections for them with our community partners and their programs. Our relationships in the community and food support to hundreds of other agencies means we can work collaboratively towards solving the problem of food insecurity in Calgary.

Volunteer & Staff


  • Staff 52% 52%
  • Volunteers 48% 48%

Fund Contribution Sources

  • Personal (45%) 45% 45%
  • Foundations (20%) 20% 20%
  • Communities (18%) 18% 18%
  • Corporations (17%) 17% 17%



  • Emergency Food Hampers 75% ($31.2M) 75% 75%
  • Food Share 11.97% ($4.8M) 11.97% 11.97%
  • Food Link 8.76% ($3.6M) 8.76% 8.76%
  • Hampers for the Homeless 2.46% ($1M) 2.46% 2.46%
  • Weekends and More 1.04% ($431,355) 1.04% 1.04%
  • Welcome Home .71% ($180,722) .71% .71%
  • Purchasing Power .28% ($117,986) .28% .28%

Emergency Food Hampers


The Emergency Food Hamper Program aims to achieve the Calgary Food Bank’s vision of a hunger-free community and attempts to address hunger and food insecurity as the program provides food and community supports to qualified clients​.

An Emergency Food Hamper is a collection of food items providing 7 to ten days’ worth of food to clients based on the household’s size. We strives to meet Canada’s Food Guide recommendations when determining hamper content. There are five specialty hampers distributed through the Emergency Food Hamper Program; baby hampers, birthday party kits, Celiac hampers, prenatal hampers, and renal hampers.

CAUSES Food insecurity in Canada continues to be prominent. As per data collected between 2017 and 2019, in the Calgary region 7.9% households are either moderately or severely food insecure [1]. This insecurity is currently being affected by Calgary’s unemployment rate, reaching 7% in June of 2019 [2]. Low household income, which can be created by unemployment, is the leading cause of food insecurity [3].

EFFECTS There are a number of negative outcomes related to food insecurity, including poor physical and mental health, and increased risk of chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, heart issues, etc.), which creates a drain on the Canadian health care system.

WHO IS AFFECTED The Emergency Food Hamper Program is designed for individuals or households that cannot access food due to financial constraints.

[1] Statistics Canada, “Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) 2017-2019 pooled data,” 2020.
[2] Statistics Canada, “Labour force characteristics by census metropolitan area,” July 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1410029402. [Accessed 24 July 2019].
[3] Food Banks Canada, “HungerCount 2018,” Food Banks Canada, Mississauga, 2019.

  • Clients who indicated feeling tense or stressed out at least once or twice daily. 60% 60%


Emergency Food Hampers provide clients in temporary emergency situations with one week’s worth of food and referrals to outside organizations. Food is provided to low-income and food insecure Calgarians. We connect clients with community resources that can address the underlying issues of food insecurity. 25% of clients are referred to other community agencies.

GOALS The goals for the program are to be within 10%, plus or minus in the coming fiscal year. Our goals in 2019/20 for hampers distributed was met, goals for money saved and clients helped by agencies was exceeded. Our goal for referring to agencies was not met, and this can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic where some of agency partners were closed.

We are projecting for 2020/21, the number of Emergency Hampers distributed to be between 61,091 (min) and 74,667 (max).

We are projecting for 2020/21, the number of referrals to agencies to be between 5,696 (min) and 6,962 (max).

We are projecting for 2020/21 the money saved to be between $22,451, 532 million (min) and $27,440,762 million (max).

We are projecting for 2020/21 the clients helped by agencies to be between 26,008 (min) and 31,788 (max).

SHORT-TERM OUTCOMES Relieving food insecurity and providing support for clients who are experiencing emergency situations. Alleviate the stress of wondering where the next meal is coming from.

LONG-TERM OUTCOMES Creating a hunger-free community.


Descriptions and definitions

This is calculated by counting all members of the household only once, irrespective of their number of visits to the program.

A referral out is where a client, calling into the Calgary Food Bank, is provided with information about community supports that can help address their underlying root cause of food insecurity. Clients may receive a referral at anytime they call our call centre, they do not necessarily have to book an hamper in order to receive a referral to an agency.

A critical part of the Emergency Food Hamper program’s theory is that the clients build connections and receive referrals to available community services for their needs.

Clients are asked how they use the money saved by accessing the Emergency Food Hamper program. Based on the responses, a majority of clients use the money to pay their bills. The second most common response is spending money on rent and additional food. They also use this money for expenditures related to their children, health care, and transportation. Despite this, there is a large section of clients that do not have any spare money to spend on any other expenses. They come to the food bank in situations where they have absolutely no money and need food. This reinforces the theory that the population that accesses food banks are the extremely food insecure segment of the population. These clients use their funds on their fundamental physiological needs such as shelter.

During the period of 2019/20, 9% of the unique clients of the program resulted from a referral from one of the 344 different resources, community agencies and their affiliated programs.

Hampers provided 67,879
Unique clients 67,734
Unique clients under 18 24,668
Clients referred to agencies 6,329
Clients helped by agencies* 28,898
Agencies/programs receiving referrals from the Food Bank 344
Agencies/programs sending referrals to the Food Bank 392
Money saved** $24,946,147


  • Female Children 35% 35%
  • Female Adults 65% 65%
  • Male Children 38% 38%
  • Male Adults 62% 62%
Female Male Agender
Under 36 Months 2,323 (3%) 2,316 (3%) 1
Age 3-12 6,887 (10%) 7,364 (11%) 8
Age 13-17 2,790 (4%) 2,975 (4%) 4
Age 18-64 21,176 (31%) 19,540 (29%) 34
Age 65+ 1,178 (2%) 1,138 (2%) 0


Hampers provided 69,249
Unique clients 66,588
Unique clients under 18 23,994
Clients referred to agencies 12,157
Clients helped by agencies* 32,139
Agencies/programs receiving referrals from the Food Bank 315
Agencies/programs sending referrals to the Food Bank 429
Money saved** $17,082,288


  • Female Children 35% 35%
  • Female Adults 65% 65%
  • Male Children 38% 38%
  • Male Adults 62% 62%
  Female Male Agender
Under 36 Months 1,835
Age 3-12 7,033
Age 13-17 2,804
Age 18-64 20,985
Age 65+ 1,169
Hampers provided 66,204
Unique clients 65,604
Unique clients under 18 24,608
Clients referred to agencies 13,317
Clients helped by agencies* 24,209
Agencies/programs receiving referrals from the Food Bank 307
Agencies/programs sending referrals to the Food Bank 411
Money saved** $17,333,460


  • Female Children 34% 34%
  • Female Adults 66% 66%
  • Male Children 37% 37%
  • Male Adults 63% 63%
  Female Male
Under 36 Months 1,723
(2.63 %)
(2.66 %)
Age 3-12 6,896
(10.51 %)
Age 13-17 2,691
(4.10 %)
(4.57 %)
Age 18-64 20,872
Age 65+ 1,073



We participate in numerous program evaluation activities that have led to a number of learnings:

  • Our clients are available to provide more feedback about their experiences and we should consider adding data collection methods.
  • Specific research on clients accessing the Emergency Food Hamper Program through satellite locations highlighted the need to improve access to this program through better understanding of the demand for satellite locations.
  • Review of the program identified the need for a clear definition of the program and program’s target population.
  • Review of the program’s Performance Measurement Strategy highlighted the need to research different root causes of hunger and determining eligibility criteria for agencies that can send referrals for their clients.

Based on the learning, the following changes were made.

  • Multiple focus groups were conducted (in addition to surveys) to collect clients’ feedback on their experiences to gain in-depth understanding of their perspectives. These perspectives continue to inform our decision-making.
  • A separate report was created on accessibility of the program that highlighted a number of variables that need to be considered to determine satellite locations. The report also highlighted the challenges that clients face while accessing the satellite locations and how they can be alleviated. This report led to a number of projects. The recommendations from this report also led to a set criteria that is used in determining the what is needed in a good satellite location for clients. This led to a project of Emergency Food Hampers audits. Audits are now periodically conducted to evaluate the hamper content, market value, and monitor any difference between the quality of hampers distributed through main vs. satellite location.
  • After multiple internal reviews, a definition for the Emergency Food Hamper Program and its target population was determined. This maintains consistency in messaging internally and externally and keeps the program aligned with our mission.
  • We are in the process of determining a criteria that can be used to strengthen partnerships with available community resources in the region that can help the program’s target population with the root cause(s) of their hunger and/or food insecurity.


“Thank you very, very much. I think about the people who donate and the people who organize and distribute the food, and I feel so grateful. You have removed a whole lot of stress from my life. I feel so secured and cared for when my cupboards and fridge are full, as they are today because I picked up my food hamper. Words are not enough, but that is what I’m offering the food bank through this survey. You all have made such a difference for me to carry on today. I continue to look for work knowing I have your support and that I have enough to eat.”

- Food Bank Client

“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.”
- Food Bank Client

* Clients being helped by other agencies is the number of hampers referred to the Food Bank from other agencies.
**Money saved can be used to pay off debt, pay for rent, utilities, medical bills, childcare, etc. The money saved includes all emergency hampers and baby hampers. The estimated value of each hamper is as follows: Pink $333, Blue $356, Green $364, Purple $697, Orange $720 and Baby $65.

Hampers for the Homeless


The Hampers for the Homeless Program provides ready to eat, shelf stable food* for the short-term relief of hunger to people living rough (homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, or otherwise impoverished populations). [*requiring minimal/no preparation or refrigeration]

The first goal of the program is to provide short-term hunger relief to clients and the ability to connect clients with agencies that can help with the underlying root cause of their food insecurity. The second goal is for agencies to use the food as a way to connect with clients experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. In addition, the program helps agencies free up time and resources spent on food acquisition that can be used towards programming for clients.

CAUSES Homelessness is understood by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness as the situation of an individual or household without stable, safe, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means and ability of acquiring it. [1]

EFFECTS The need for this program remains crucial as the homeless population is disproportionately effected by food insecurity and lack of food [2].

WHO IS AFFECTED Agencies that support and distribute to a population experiencing homelessness and the population experiencing homelessness.

Unlike the Emergency Food Hamper Program, with the Hampers for the Homeless Program we do not directly connect with the food insecure population receiving the hampers. We work with agencies that are based in Calgary and who are working with individuals that are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. We rely on reporting by the agencies accessing the program to evaluate the impact. According to the reporting by the agencies, the largest segment of the target population that received hampers are categorized as un-sheltered or absolutely homeless and living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation.

[1] Barr, C., Friesen, A., Hill, C., Kovacs-Burns, K., Pauly, B., Turner, A., & Marsolais, A. (2012). Canadian Definition of Homelessness. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press.
[2] Parpouchi, M., Moniruzzaman, A., Russolillo, A., & Somers, J. M. (2016). Food insecurity among homeless adults and mental illness. PLoS ONE, 11, e0159334.


The Hampers for the Homeless Program addresses food insecurity by providing the short-term relief of hunger to those living rough. The root causes of long-term hunger are also addressed as clients are given hampers by organizations which provide support for individuals experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. The food acts as a connector and allows agencies to work with individuals to transition them out of poverty. This program reduces poverty by relieving some financial and mental strain on those living rough, and allowing individuals to use the funds and resources to move into a stable shelter situation. We collaborate with 12 non-profit agencies that are working with the homeless population.

GOALS The goals for the program are to be within 10%, plus or minus in the coming fiscal year.

We are projecting for 2020/21, the number of Hampers for the Homeless distributed to be between 22,121 (min) and 27,037 (max). The number of hampers distributed in 2019/20 was exceeded because of the introduction of the bulk food option, which allowed agencies to receive bulk food instead of pre-made hampers to better serve the needs of their clients and the COVID-19 pandemic where agencies needed additional food to support their clients.

We are projecting for 2020/21 the money saved to be between $663,633 (min) and $811,107 (max). Our goal for 2019/20 was exceeded because of the increase need for this program.

SHORT-TERM OUTCOMES Supplying nutrition to those living rough and may not have another source of food.

LONG-TERM OUTCOMES Creating a hunger-free community.


Homelessness puts a strain on both taxpayers and various social agencies costing the Canadian economy $7 Billion annually due to the cost of emergency shelters, social services, health care, and correction. – The Homeless Hub

On a given night, 3,430 Calgarians experience homelessness.

– The Calgary Homeless Foundation

Aboriginal people are over-represented in the homeless population. They make 3% of the Calgary population but make 20% of its homeless population.

What's in a Hamper?

Hampers contain ready to eat, shelf stable food for the short-term relief of hunger to people living rough. They contain 1 to 2 days food, and a hamper typically contains the following content:
▪ Canned meat (2)
▪ Canned soup (2)
▪ Dry soup (2)
▪ Fruit/pudding (4)
▪ Juice/drinks (2)
▪ Oatmeal (6)
▪ Snacks (1)
▪ Bag of cutlery and napkins (1)

Number of agencies 12
Number of bags distributed 24,579
Money saved* $737,370


Number of agencies 13
Number of bags distributed 21,531
Money saved* $645,930
Number of agencies 17
Number of bags distributed 14,080
Money saved* $450,560

* Dollar value of hamper savings, allowing agencies focus on their programming rather than outsourcing food.


Through the feedback received by the agencies accessing the Hampers for the Homeless Pprogram we learned that agencies were dismantling the bags to expand the impact of support by preparing smaller bags and to give their clients a choice of items they would like to consume.

Based on these learnings, a new stream of Hampers for the Homeless distribution was created where the agencies can indicate the items they require, based on their clients’ needs, and then pick-up the items in bulk. This new mode of distribution allows approved partner agencies to save time by not dismantling the assembled hampers to reassemble smaller bags for clients, this also saves food bank resources. In addition it allows the agencies to choose the items they require for their clients, this customization of hamper content based on needs reduces waste and is a better allocation of resources.


“I was homeless for almost 4 years, during that time I was thankful for the homeless hampers that you provided. I lived at the YWCA for 2 years 9 months and I’m now in my own apartment. It wouldn’t be possible without all the help that I’ve been given and continue to receive. ”
- Food Bank Client

Food Share


We can ensure that, instead of wasting donations because of the inability to distribute the high volume of product, the entirety of a donor’s contribution will support food insecure individuals and families. The National and Regional Food Share Programs’ objective is to ensure food banks, outside the city of Calgary, receive enough support to meet the nutritional needs of their clients. The Regional Food Share Program distributes from the Calgary Food Bank to Southern Albertan food banks and the National Food Share Program moves food across Canada.

CAUSES As per the most recent available statistics, food insecurity in Canada is now higher than any prior national estimate [1]. There were 4.4 million people living in food-insecure households in 2017-18. Rural food banks in Canada, due to their often remote locations, have higher food transportation costs and fewer donations.

EFFECTS It is challenging for the food banks to maintain adequate food supply for their clients.

WHO IS AFFECTED Food banks in need of support to provide for their food insecure clients.

Alberta Food Banks

Airdrie Food Bank
Good Samaritan Mission (Athabasca)
Brooks Food Bank Foundation
Chestermere Food Bank
Claresholm Food Bank
Crowsnest Pass Food Bank Society (Blairmore)
Food Banks Alberta
Iyarhre Nakoda Food Bank (Eden Valley)
Kainai Food Bank Society (Standoff)
Lethbridge Food Bank
Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge
Medicine Hat Dream Centre
Iyahrhe Nakoda Food Bank Society (Morely)
Mountain View Food Bank Society (Olds)
Okotoks Food Bank
Pincher Creek Food Bank
Red Deer Food Bank Society
The Lord’s Food Bank (Rocky Mountain House)
Siksika / Iitasino Food Bank
St Paul & District Food Bank
Wheatland County Food Bank (Strathmore)
Tsuut’ina Food Bank
Taber Food Bank Society
Vulcan Regional Food Bank Society

[1] Tarasuk V, Mitchell A. (2020) Household food insecurity in Canada, 2017-18. Toronto: Research to identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF). Retrieved from https://proof.utoronto.ca/


The National and Regional Food Share Programs work to distribute perishable and non-perishable products to food banks in need of food supplies across Canada. This allows food banks to maintain food supply for their clients while food waste is reduced.

GOALS The goals for the program are to be within 10%, plus or minus in the coming fiscal year. We are projecting for 2020/21, the pounds of food distributed through Food Share to be between 2,125,641 (min) and 2,598,005 (max). We are projecting for 2020/21 the value of the food distributed to be between $5,526,666 (min) and $6,754,814 (max). Our goal for 2019/20 was exceeded because there was an increased demand for this program.

SHORT-TERM OUTCOMES By collaborating with other food banks and charities, we ensure that emergency food and supplies are delivered where they are needed most, reaching more food insecure clients. By re-distributing excessive amounts of certain items to other agencies results in reduced food waste.


Below is a list of the food categories that are distributed.

  • Baking and condiments: 22.82%
  • Snacks: 22.71%
  • Canned and prepared food: 17.45%
  • Grains (bread and cereal): 15.71%
  • Drinks (coffee, tea, pop, water): 14.97%
  • Dairy: 2.83%
  • Baby: 1.42%
  • Vegetable and fruit: 1.32%

Creating a
hunger-free community.


As we review the Performance Measurement Strategy for the Food Share program, the need to collect feedback from its beneficiaries is identified. Operational changes will be made based on the feedback collected.

Number of beneficiaries (Food Banks) 30
Pounds of food distributed 2,361,823
Dollar value of food distributed* $6,140,740


Number of beneficiaries (Food Banks) 27
Pounds of food distributed 2,071,677
Dollar value of food distributed* $5,386,360
Number of beneficiaries (Food Banks) 36
Pounds of food distributed 2,344,281
Dollar value of food distributed* $4,688,562

* By collaborating with other food banks and charities, we ensure that emergency food and supplies are delivered where they needed most reaching more food insecure clients. Dollar value of food distributed through regional share.

Presents data to readers that uses standardized or common metrics to assess key program outputs. The charity may either present the metrics in the format used to report their metrics to the government, ministry, foundation, coalition, or other standards – setting organization, or may make the explicit claim that its metrics are based on such standards, without providing documentation.

5000 11 St SE
Calgary, AB T2H 2Y5

Main line: 403-253-2059
Fax: 403-259-4240


Monday to Thursday: 8:30 am – 7 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 4 pm


By Appointment Only
Monday to Thursday:
8 – 10:30 am, 11 am – 1:30pm
2 – 4:30pm, 5 – 7:30pm
8 – 10:30am, 11am – 1:30pm, 2 – 3:30pm
Get the hours for our satellite locations.


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


By appointment only
Monday to Friday: 8:30 – 11 am


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

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