How do I use the Calgary Food Bank?

Food insecurity is a rising issue in Canada. The Calgary Food Bank was formed in order to address this. It is the largest, most accessible food bank in Calgary. If your family needs help getting enough food on the table, a food hamper from the Calgary Food Bank can help. Read on to find out how the program works.

How do I use the Calgary Food Bank?

Food hampers are provided for low-income persons in need and provide enough food to sustain one person for one week. Eligible recipients can receive up to 7 food hampers per year. The Calgary Food Bank provides food hampers for a range of diets and needs, including for clients with celiac disease, kidney diseases, expecting mothers, and babies and children.

The Calgary Food Bank’s website lists the steps involved in applying for a food hamper. This guide was adapted from their page.

Step 1: Call 403.253.2055, the Hamper Request Line

  • Call the Hamper Request Line during operation hours to speak to a volunteer.
The Request Line is open during these hours:
Mon. 10:30 a.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Tues. 10:30 a.m.  –  7:15 p.m.
Wed. 10:30 a.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Thurs. 10:30 a.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Fri. 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • The best time of day to call is between 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
  • Be prepared: The Food Bank will ask some personal questions like income and basic expenses, including rent, mortgage, utilities, childcare and medical costs. Please be ready to answer these questions. You will be given a confidential and respectful experience.
  • The Food Bank will determine your need based on the information you provide.

Step 2: Book a Hamper

  • Once you have called and been approved for an emergency food hamper, Calgary Food Bank volunteers will book a time for you to pick up the hamper.

Step 3: Pick up your Hamper

  • Once you are approved and a hamper pick-up time is set for you, you will be told if your hamper is at the Calgary Food Bank main warehouse (5000 11 Street SE) OR at one of their various depots across Calgary
  • When you come to pick-up your hamper, remember to bring two pieces of ID for each adult.
  • Each child needs one piece of ID.

Acceptable Identification (ID) includes: Driver’s License, Health Care Card, Passport, Birth Certificate, PR Card or Immigration Paperwork.

CIES Guides are a volunteer-led project made possible through contributions from the community.

Thanks to Whitney Loewen for help with this guide. If you want to suggest a correction to this guide, or want to submit one of your own, please contact us.