In the list below, we’ve featured 10 top food banks in Alberta, and have summarised their activities and services.
In early 1981, several charities in the Edmonton, Alberta, area formed Edmonton’s Food Bank to serve the needs of greater Canada. In the years that have followed, their warehouses have continued to expand to store millions of pounds of food gathered from producers of food, wholesalers, and retailers. This reclaimed food is supplemented with purchases made from donations to the food bank and provided to food programs all across Canada.
The Wood Buffalo Food Bank in Fort McMurray, Alberta, was formed by community volunteers in 1983. The main food bank provides regular distributions of groceries based on the household size on an appointment-only basis. They also offer a mobile pantry for rural clients, cooking classes, a school hamper program for out-of-school hours, emergency food boxes, and referrals to agencies that can help clients with situations affecting food security.
Marie Blackburn found the Veterans’ Association Food Bank in 2018 after the food bank where she previously volunteered shut down, leaving many veterans without a source of assistance for the food poverty they faced. The food bank provides monthly distributions of non-perishable foods which include grocery vouchers for the purchase of fresh meat, produce, and dairy to Edmonton and Calgary area veterans. They also host a community meal one day per week.
The Campus Food Bank at the University of Alberta in Edmonton was established in 1991 to serve its students and staff. They continue to assist both those currently enrolled or employed and alumni who need assistance meeting their nutritional needs. The food pantry is open on weekdays to distribute two weeks’ worth of groceries to clients. The food bank also offers cooking classes, between-class snacks on campus, and a membership-based grocery.
Calgary Food Bank got its start in the basement of a Calgary church in 1982. It was created by a handful of congregation members but went on to enlist the help of other churches to further its reach in the community. Today, they focus on food reclamation and supplemental purchases to provide non-perishable and perishable food to those who don’t otherwise have enough to feed their families. Distribution is by appointment only.
Are you going hungry in Airdrie, Alberta? Airdrie Food Bank was established in 1984 to provide food for people just like you. Food is distributed on an appointment-only basis. Once you’ve established your needs with the support staff through an initial assessment, you can visit once per month for a variety of meats, fresh produce, bread, dairy, and non-perishable food stock to last for up to 10 days, depending on the size of your household.
The Mountain View Food Bank Society in Olds, Alberta, is a completely volunteer-run food bank. It provides food to all residents of the Mountain View area who are experiencing food insecurity. Monthly supplies of non-perishable and perishable items are provided through food donations and monetary contributions from the public with less than 5% of donations going toward overhead for food bank operations.
If you are looking for food assistance in St. Albert, Alberta, you can visit the St. Albert Food Bank for help. This food bank was established by community volunteers in 1984 to tackle food poverty in their area. Clients can visit the food bank for monthly hampers filled with fresh produce, bread, canned food, dry goods, and infant formula if needed. In addition to food, the food bank offers referrals to other programs that can assist with general financial security.
Concerned members of the Lethbridge, Alberta, community created the Lethbridge Food Bank Society in 1982. The food bank is open five days per week. Clients can pick up a food hamper of non-perishable and perishable food once per month. The amount provided is dependent on family size. Bread and fresh produce can be collected up to three times per week in addition to monthly distributions.
Since 1983, Strathcona Food Bank has provided food for those suffering from food poverty in the Sherwood Park and Strathcona areas of Alberta. They provide both emergency and ongoing food assistance with once a monthly distribution of food meant to last up to five days. All food is provided from donations made by local businesses, churches, and individuals. The food bank can also provide for pets and infants if needed.