Calgarians rally to address food insecurity

The City of Calgary’s annual Stuff-a-Bus campaign took place Saturday to help feed the almost 700 families relying on the Food Bank each day. As Jillian Code reports, other groups are also stepping up to help.

The City of Calgary’s annual Stuff A Bus campaign took place Saturday to help feed the almost 700 families relying on the Food Bank each day.

The event saw transit busses stationed at 19 Co-op locations across the city.

It marks the unofficial start to a season where food donations are in high demand.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek took part, nabbing some essentials to provide to the food bank.

“We’ve got a lot of neighbours who are in pretty vulnerable positions right now. These are folks who are struggling to make ends meet,” she told CityNews.

“We’ve got a lot of parents who are skipping meals to make sure their children are eating, and so any donation that any Calgarian can make towards the Calgary food bank will go a very very long way.”

A third of Calgary Food Bank clients are children, and they’re seeing a stark increase in people reaching out for help. Last year, they fed around 400 families per day.

Watch: Calgary Food Bank usage hitting new highs

This year, that number is anywhere between 650 and 700 families each day, and Melissa From, president and CEO of the food bank, realizes more people could use help.

“The reality is that more and more everyday Calgarians just are really struggling to make ends meet,” she said.

“No one should ever think ‘Somebody else needs it more than me, I don’t want to be a drain on the system.’ That’s why we’re here, we’re by the community for community, and you’re part of that community, so please reach out for help.”

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Meanwhile, community leaders in Penbrooke Meadows are also taking action to address food insecurity in their neighbourhood.

“We are trying to serve every home in this community,” said Jaquie Duhacek, founder and director of Calgary Family Peer Connection.

“We came prepared with 1000 boxes, they are called our kits and they hold about 200 dollars worth of food.”

Originally slated to feed community members, demand from other areas poured in, forcing them to expand to help more people.

“We have this — I’m calling it an army of crackpots. We’ve had about 20 people saying ‘yeah, I can bring a crockpot of stew,'” said Ryan Herbert pastor of the Calgary East Church of the Nazarene.

Calgarians are encouraged to continue to donate items heading into the holiday season.

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