Five Important Calgary Food Bank Programs

The Calgary Food Bank runs many important programs to help feed YYC. In this post, we highlight five programs that make a difference in different ways.

About Calgary Food Bank

  • Inter-faith charitable organization founded in 1982 by leaders from different religions
  • Operates in a 60,000 square foot warehouse located at 5000 – 11 Street SE, Calgary
  • 90% of critical jobs performed at the Food Bank are done by volunteers
  • 180,666 lives affected last year (Sept 2017 to Aug 2018)


Following, in no particular order, are five important Calgary Food Bank programs.

Food Link

Calgary is home to several inspiring charities that help the community in various ways, but who also work with clients in need of food. As not every charity focuses primarily on the collection and distribution of food, the Food Link program is a way for agencies like Alcove Recovery and Inn from the Cold to efficiently meet their food requirements.

The Food Link program works with 45 agency partners throughout Calgary. Last year, their efforts distributed over 2.5 million pounds of food across 239 programs.

More About Food Link


CBC Christmas Food Drive

The CBC Christmas Food Drive is an important annual initiative that aims to raise funds and food to fill every plate in Calgary during the holiday season. The Food Drive aims to raise $1 million in support of Calgary Food Bank and hosts several Holiday Events during the month of December to help reach its goal.

One of those events is the annual Blitz Day on CBC Radio where donors are invited to drop-off food and funds at the CBC building. Here at Vista, we’ve been lucky enough to take part in Blitz Day on more than one occasion. We think it’s a great way to raise awareness about the important work of the Calgary Food Bank.

More About CBC Food Drive

Blitz Day 2018

Chad Radke and Erwin Vargas CBC donation
Vista’s Chad Radke (left) & Erwin Vargas present CBC Radio’s David Gray with a ceremonial cheque.

Food Hampers

The Calgary Food Bank’s hamper program supports clients who are experiencing emergency situations. The Food Bank is often the first line of emergency food support for families in crisis, and eligible people may receive up to seven hampers in a 12-month period.

Every day, the Food Bank distributes more than 280 emergency food hampers, which meet Canada’s Food Guide for good, nutritious food. Each hamper consists of 52% non-perishables, 28% perishables, and 20% grains.

The program also includes specialty hampers to meet the needs of clients with unique circumstances or diverse dietary requirements.

  • Renal hampers
  • Celiac hampers
  • Homeless hampers
  • Infant hampers
  • Prenatal hampers
  • Pantry hampers

More About Food Hampers


Group Volunteers

The Calgary Food Bank relies heavily on volunteerism, with about 90% of its workforce coming from volunteer workers. Over 160 caring Calgarians give their time each day to help the Food Bank.

The Food Bank’s Group Volunteering program is a great team building activity for local companies, sports clubs, youth groups or friends. Your groups can volunteer at the Food Bank mornings and afternoons Monday to Friday and evenings Monday to Thursday. Everyone older than 12 is welcome!

Call 403-253-2059, ext 2 to contact Volunteer Resources.

More About Group Volunteering



The Food Bank’s Grow-A-Row program encourages home gardeners to plant an extra row to be donated at harvest. Whether it’s a bag, a bunch or a bushel, it all adds up to help provide Calgarians in need with fresh produce.

Garden contributions through the Grow-A-Row program help the Food Bank distribute fresh produce in 20,000 food hampers during the garden season. Contributions can include beans and peas, tomatoes, potatoes, kale, carrots, zucchini, beets and turnips, and onions and garlic.

More About Grow-A-Row

Calgary Food Bank Grow-A-Row

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