Kyla and I are so excited to share our news with you! As I mentioned the other day, we are partnering up with the Calgary Food Bank for a (hopefully) interesting and enlightening experience. For the last week of November, Kyla and I, and our respective families will be living for one week on a food hamper in hopes of learning more about the experience that many Calgarians go through every year.
To begin, we all headed down to the Food Bank yesterday for a tour. It was fascinating to learn about this unbelievable organization. I truly had no idea the enormous scope of service they provide to not only individuals and families struggling to put food on the table but many organizations that also serve those families. With approximately 70 full time, part time and seasonal staff, along with 100 VOLUNTEERS A DAY, the food bank turns out 16, 687, 615 lbs of food a year! Walking through the warehouse, it was incredible to see the nearly 1 million pounds of food lining the shelves and the industrial sized refrigerator and freezer. But what really blew my mind, was understanding that all this food… all 1 million pounds of it… would be gone within 4-6 weeks to hungry families in our city.
The next surprise was learning about all the research, work, effort and heart that goes into each and every single hamper that is created. The hampers are made for the number of people in a family and will feed those people, 3 meals a day for 7-10 days. I did not expect to learn that the food put together for these meals would be so carefully calculated. The food bank works with nutritionists and from the Canada Food Guide to develop balanced, nutritious meals each and every time. While comfort food (especially that is easily prepared) is a vital part of the hampers (think about what you want to eat and what you have time to prepare in times of high stress and crisis – these items are really important to include for people), there is also a variety of fresh produce, protein sources (meat, beans and peanut butter) and even a variety of additional foods that add some interest and engagement to the hampers.
All is all, I was seriously moved. The tour wowed me and made me really grateful that this service exists here in Calgary. In the next coming weeks, I will be sure to share more details about the tour – some things have got me really thinking and I am hoping to do a few things this month that will share my fond feelings for this organization.
Later this month, Kyla and I will be calling the food bank like anyone else would and requesting a hamper for each of our families. We will go through the interview and pick up process and hopefully be able to have an authentic as possible experience. However, we will be paying for the food hamper directly. Going through this experience will allow us to give valuable feedback to the Food Bank as well as give us an opportunity to open the conversation with our readers about the importance of supporting agencies like the Calgary Food Bank. We hope that you will join us this month on this journey as well learn more about this awesome service and our own needs vs. wants.
P.S. Check out this great FAST FACTS below…