The Emergency food Hamper program is the objective of the Calgary Food Bank’s satellite locations around Calgary. This allows individuals and families to pick up an emergency hamper as close to their home as possible. Calgary Rotary West members volunteer at the Food Bank satellite Grace Presbyterian Church.

Grace Presbyterian Church
1009 15 Ave SW

Located a block away from 17th Ave SW.

Bus #2, #6, #7, #13, and #698
Please contact Calgary Transit to get more information, call 403-262-1000 or visit the website.

4 – 6 pm

Project Timeline:

  • After months of conversations and meetings, all the legal documents and agreements were in place as well as the logistics for receiving, assembly and distribution.

  • Session approved a one-year pilot project for a weekly Satellite Depot at Grace to be evaluated after 6 months

  • We have the capacity to service up to 15 families

  • Depot became operational on Thursday Oct. 1/20 and operates every Thursday (exception of Wednesday for Dec. 23/20 & Dec. 30/20)

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • The program is under the direct supervision of the Satellite Food Program Coordinator at GPC, Marlene Doherty

  • Marlene Doherty and Mary Jardine are the two captains – responsible on an alternating weekly basis for contacting the families and assisting with assembly & distribution of the hampers.

  • Cindy Stephenson was instrumental with identifying volunteers and we have a fabulous combination of Grace volunteers and community (Rotary Club of Calgary West) volunteers.

  • Debbie Roorda has worked out the logistics for assembly & distribution in the chapel area (new plugs for the fridge, freezer, tables etc.) & Brad has been extremely helpful.

  • Rev. Jake Van Pernis & Alan Facey have provided support & guidance.

  • Jonathan Espayos is our contact at the Calgary Food Bank. He provided two training sessions at Grace and is in constant communication with us.

What does it this project take every week:

  • The depot is set up in the chapel area

  • Every Wednesday we receive a confirmation from the Food Bank indicating how many hampers we will receive the following day. Debbie arranges table set up in the chapel accordingly & Marlene emails the volunteers with an update of what to expect.

  • A team of two volunteers arrive at Grace. Our delivery is scheduled between 8:30 – 9:00 am. Scott is our driver and a great guy!

  • Crates are unloaded from the truck and sorted into perishable items, fridge items & freezer items.

  • Volunteers – 5 in total. Two are scheduled each delivery on a rotating basis.

Assembly and Distribution:

  • Volunteers arrive to assemble the hampers. We currently have 16 volunteers – four per shift

  • Each hamper is colour coded according to the number of individuals it can serve. e.g.. Pink of 1 individual, Blue for 2-3 individuals all the way to Orange for 8 or more. Each hamper contains approx. 7 days of food and is in line with Canada’s Food Guide.

  • There are also specialty hampers and hampers that include personal hygiene items and pet food

  • The hampers are assembled according to their colour code and then all the items are bagged and stored in crates. Fridge & Freezer items are added when they arrive for pick up

  • The captain calls the clients once the hampers are assembled to invite them to come & pick up the hampers they are scheduled for. (Debbie has provided a cell phone with private number for calls to clients)

  • Clients must show 2 pieces of ID and sign for the hamper.

  • Volunteers take the bags of food to a table outside and the clients pack them. We are operating on a “drive in” basis (Clients do not enter the building) They arrive & knock on the door

  • Distribution is from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Some come by car (their own or a ride) some come by bus and some walk. They are encouraged to bring a cart, luggage with wheels or stroller if they are walking.

  • Once the hampers have all been distributed – tables are sanitized, and volunteers say Good Night!

  • No shows – the Food Bank does not want any food returned. We have only had “no shows” once and we have a process to ensure the food is distributed to families in the Beltline in need. We take a picture of the food remaining and send it to a contact at Connaught Elementary School. On Friday morning families are contacted and come to Grace.

  • Designated time and take what they need. (Brad sets out tables and people come between 10:30am and 11:30am. We began with three full tables and ended up with a crate with some soup and cereal). These can be kept at the church for “pantry items”. Mary has agreed to help with “no shows” due to her new proximity to Grace.

How we have grown:

  • Week 1 – 2 (pink hampers)

  • Week 2 – 9 (6 pink & 3 blue)

  • Week 3 – 4 (2 pink & 2 blue)

  • Week 4 – 3 (pink hampers)

Our orders are growing as word of the new Beltline location gets out. The Food Bank is working to promote this location.