need food? Call 403-253-2055
Book your food hamper
Please call 403-253-2055 to request your emergency food hamper. You must call first as hamper distribution is by appointment only.
Be prepared: we will ask some personal questions like income and basic expenses. This includes government/income supports, rent, mortgage, utilities, childcare, and medical.
Once you have called and been approved for a food hamper, our volunteers will book a you a specific time to pick-up your hamper. Hampers can be picked-up at our main location or one of our satellite locations.
You can validate your IDs virtually making it possible for a Third Party (family member, friends, volunteers, other delivery service etc) to pick-up your hamper in a more timely, safe, and convenient manner. Find out more information about the process.
Hamper Request Line Hours
Monday – Thursday
8:15 am – 7 pm
8:15 am – 4 pm
What you need to know during COVID-19
Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do when the request line is busy?
Please be patient as our phones are very busy. If your call is disconnected, please keep trying. The phone lines are the busiest in the morning. You may have to call back or wait on the line. If you can, try phoning in the afternoon or evening.
The food bank only takes hamper request through the Hamper Request Phone Line. We cannot process hamper requests from social media or voicemails on administration lines. Please be patient, we’ll get to you as soon as we can!
What time is the phone line open?
The Hamper Request Line is open:
Monday to Thursday 8:15 am – 7 pm
Friday 8:15 am – 4 pm
Please be patient as our phones are very busy. The phone lines are the busiest in the morning and Mondays. The best time to call is mid-week, later in the day.
Can I prebook a hamper?
Clients can pre-book up to 5 days in advance of when they, or a third party can pick-up their emergency food hamper, unless they are booking a hamper every 10 days. In this case they can pre-book a hamper 2 days in advance.
What if my agency that I get a referral from is closed?
We understand these are unique circumstances and our Hamper Request Line volunteers will assist you.
Please call 403-253-2055.
Monday to Thursday: 8:30 am – 7 pm
Friday: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Can I still qualify if I have received a hamper before?
Yes, you can receive a hamper now even if you have received one before. We understand this crisis is a unique situation and our Hamper Request Line volunteers will work with you to determine ongoing eligibility.
What’s in a hamper?
The hamper includes the essentials for your household for approximately 7 days. We appreciate your understanding as we make sure we can help everyone with our inventory and scaled-down workforce of staff and volunteers at this unprecedented time.
Please note we have a very limited capacity to accommodate special requests for hampers. Pet food is still being provided, based on availability. Hygiene packs and cleaning supplies requests cannot be guaranteed.
Can I get a Celiac or Renal hamper?
Yes, we are still providing hampers with specialized content for our clients with specific dietary needs. Please let our volunteers know you have these dietary restrictions when you call.
Can I get a Baby Hamper?
Yes, we are still providing baby hampers. Please let our volunteers know that you need a baby hamper when you call.
How often can I get a hamper?
Eligibility criteria are being adjusted as the situation changes. As of May 6, 2020,clients can now receive emergency food hampers after the 10-day window from their last request.
For example, if a client received a hamper on the 1st of the month, the next date they can receive food is the 12th of the month.
What kind of ID do I need?
For hamper pick-up, one piece of ID is required for everyone on the hamper request. Accepted identification includes:
Provincial ID Card
If you don’t have a government photo ID, please bring two pieces of ID (health care card, birth certificate, piece of mail, police report, medical bill etc). If you don’t have ID or only 1 piece of non-government ID please let our call centre volunteer know and we can work with you.
What time is distribution?
Hamper distribution is by appointment only.
Calgary Food Bank location hours are:
Monday – Thursday
8:30 – 10:30 am
11 am – 1:30 pm
2 – 4:30 pm
5 – 7:30 pm
8:30 – 10:30 am
11 am – 1:30 pm
2 – 3:30 pm
Please check the Satellite Locations for their specific hours.
What happens if I miss my pick-up time?
- It is extremely important that you arrive only at your assigned pick-up time!
- If you arrive earlier than the assigned time you will be asked to move back in the queue.
- If you arrive later than the assigned time, you will be asked to reschedule for another time.
- If you arrive without an appointment, you may be asked to exit the line, call the hamper request line and return at your designated time slot. We understand this is not ideal but we are focusing on trying to meet the demand in an unprecedented scenario.
What is a QR Code?
The Calgary Food Bank QR Code is a quick response, one-time use label that is read by a machine and contains information about your hamper. This is what the QR Code will look like, but yours is unique to you. Simply print or present this on your cell phone and we will scan it at your hamper pick-up appointment
Can someone else pick up my hamper?
Absolutely! A new feature has been added to the system that will allow you to validate your IDs virtually making it possible for any Third Party (family member, friends, volunteers, other delivery service etc) to pick-up the hamper for the household in a more timely, safe, and convenient manner. The Third Party must have the QR code from the client to pick-up the hamper. Find out more information about the new process.
Please note that this is only available at the Calgary Food Bank’s main location at 5000 11 Street SE.
What requirements are needed for Third Party pick-up?
To access the Third-Party ID validation option:
- You must be eligible to receive an emergency food hamper.
- Have access to a computer or smartphone.
- Understand the English language so you can follow the instructions.
- Have valid ID that can be uploaded into the system.
- Be able to give the QR Code to the Third Party who is picking up your hamper.
What are the instructions for Third Party pick-up?
In order to organize for the hamper to be picked up by a Third Party, you need to follow these steps:
- The email you receive will provide information on how to upload IDs for everyone on the hamper and there will be ‘Terms and Conditions’ included.
- You must read the information, agree to the Terms and Conditions, and upload your IDs.
- Once the IDs have been uploaded a Calgary Food Bank staff member will validate the IDs.
- Once the IDs are verified, you will be notified and a unique, single-use QR code will get sent to your email address.
- This email will have the option to change the date and time of pick-up of the hamper.
- You need to send this QR Code to the Third Party member that is picking up the hamper on your behalf.
- This third party must present this QR Code upon hamper pick-up.
- Once the household member(s) IDs have been validated, their ID information will be deleted.
What if I don't have a car?
If I don’t have a car do I need my own bags?
What should I do with items that I do not want/cannot eat in my hamper?
We understand that not everyone is going to want or can use every item that is included in their Emergency Food Hamper, and we invite you to leave anything that you do not want at the location you are picking up your hamper from.
If you are picking up your hamper from the main location (5000 11 Street SE):
Please leave any items that you do not want to take home in the grocery cart your hamper is delivered to you in. If you are using the drive-thru please leave the grocery cart in the empty space next to your vehicle. If you are arriving on transit or by foot, please leave the grocery cart by the loading table.
If you are picking up your hamper from a satellite location:
Please leave any items that you do not want to take home at the satellite location, or in the crates/cart your hamper is delivered to you in. Check with the volunteers to find out where to place items that you do not want.