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Calgary Food Bank looks to stuff 19 buses full of food

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The Calgary Food Bank tried to stuff buses full of food on Saturday.

The 31st annual Stuff a Bus event took place at 19 Co-Op stores throughout the city.

“Of all the years, this year is the year our community needs us the most,” said Ken Keelor, CEO of Calgary Co-Op.

The food bank collaborated with Calgary Transit and Annie Banister Girl Guides to collect donations for food insecure Calgarians.

“We’re just seeing such an incredible increase in demand,” said Calgary Food Bank President and CEO Melissa From. “I think at this point they are calling it a cost of living crisis.”

Last year the Calgary Food Bank was feeding approximately 400 households a day. Now, it helps upwards of 700.

Thirty per cent of the people it’s helping are children.

“We’ve got a lot of parents who are skipping meals to make sure their kids are eating. Any donations that any Calgarian can make towards the Calgary Food Bank will go a very long way,” said Mayor Jyoti Gondek.

Saturday is also the kickoff of the 35th Mayor's Food Drive for the Calgary Food Bank, which has seen unprecedented demand this year with a 34 per cent increase in working households that need support. 

“These are folks who their primary household income is revenue from work, and they still can’t make ends meet,” said From.

Anyone wanting to help can drop off a non-perishable item or make a cash donation.

According to its X account, the food bank's November wish list for donations includes peanut butter, pasta sauce (no glass jars), canned meat, canned beans, and diapers for newborns (size 6 and no pull-ups).

Penbrooke Meadows Food Distribution

On Saturday the Alberta Food Rescue and Distribution helped give out groceries to residents in Penbrooke Meadows, which organizers say is needed.

“Penbrooke doesn’t have any food distribution to help the community,” said Alberta Food Rescue and Distribution director Jacque Duhacek.

According to Duhacek, community members would normally have to go to the Forest Lawn area for a food distribution program.

There was enough food collected to feed over 1000 homes in the Penbrooke, with each one taking up to 400 dollars in food.

“We’re hoping that we’re giving them enough nutritious food to last them two to three weeks,” said Duhacek.  

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