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Councillor's challenge pays off for the Calgary Food Bank

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City council took part in a heated battle at Calgary Food Bank Thursday morning as part of an annual food drive.

During the second annual councillor’s challenge, teams competed to fill as many emergency hampers as possible within a 15-minute time limit.

The event is part of an 11-day food drive battle between the wards.

The winning team/councillor of Thursday’s event will receive a 75-pound head start in the challenge.

Last year during the councillor’s challenge, city council raised just over $80,000 in food and funds for the Calgary Food Bank.

Ward 5 and Coun. Raj Dhaliwal was crowned the title of raising the most, receiving bragging rights and the “Golden Lettuce Award.”

The real winner, though, was the food bank, which said it’s seen a dramatic increase in demand and is struggling to keep up.

It said it is putting out up to 750 emergency hampers a day, feeding more than 10,000 people a week.

It’s a problem being felt across the country.

According to Food Banks Canada, there are almost 2 million monthly users, a 78 per cent jump since the pandemic.

On top of that historic demand, the organization said high inflation is slowing donations -- making this event more important than ever.

To take part, each councillor has a dedicated webpage to raise funds and has selected a few donation drop-off locations in their ward.

The food will be picked up on Dec. 10.

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