Community Kitchen Program of Calgary Society
Our Story Why We Exist
A call was received at the Community Kitchen Program one afternoon from a city agency. It proceeded as follows: A mom was leaving a safe house for abused women and children after the police had arrested and charged the person responsible for the physical abuse causing bodily harm. The mom and her children were moving back into their home, it was now a safe place to live. This mom only had $15.00 in her wallet, with no money in a bank account and no means to receive any assistance.
The Community Kitchen Program received a call about this family and we immediately made a hamper up for them. This call came in late on a Friday and most of the social agencies that supply food were closed. We were quick to provide a hamper to this family that day and we will continue to supply food to that family food until her government assistance kicks in. We believe strongly that no one in Calgary should be without food. The circumstances that this family was in were very severe and continued help must be available so their lives can get back on track with dignity and safety with food security.
We teach participants how to prepare nutritious meals, budget their finances -- making their income stretch by preparing cost effective, healthy meals, as well as providing a means to access nutritious food.
By having a teaching component in many of our programs, we empower our clients to a new level that provides them with the opportunity to become more self-sufficient. We believe in a hands up, rather than a hands out, moving the vulnerable closer to living with dignity.
Community Kitchen Program's WHY:
- To ensure Calgarians have an accessible and sustainable food supply
- To address issues of hunger with children, adults, families and seniors
- To respond to needs of Calgarians when in crisis facing hunger
- To address homelessness regarding sustainability, leaving transition achieving stability
- Teaching component in many of the programs
- We are a hands up agency, to help vulnerable clients dealing with food insecurity
- To help clients contribute to their own betterment by participation
- To teach good and healthy eating habits, food handling, cooking, nutrition and smart shopping
Our Impact What We Do
We operate a self-empowering model to address the needs of marginalized Calgarians. We've continually evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of our city, in response to our deepening awareness and understanding of the complex issues of poverty and hunger.
The programs we've built help adults, children and families eat healthier, at a lower cost, learning how to cut the grocery bills and, most importantly, how to keep these healthy habits throughout their lifetime. We're not just giving a 'hand-out', but a 'hand-up'!
- Children are the future, which is why we teach our next generation about nutrition, smart grocery shopping, how to read a food label, safety with knives, cross contamination, and even proper etiquette. These children will obtain the information and hopefully keep it with them as they grow, influencing the following generations and in turn, lowering the hunger population in this city.
2015 Annual Report Highlights:
- 2,190 volunteers contributed 5,294.5 hours to the Community Kitchen Program
- Integrated Online Store into the Good Food Box program; now delivering this program to Strathmore, Wheatland Country and Siksika Nation in Gleichen, Alberta.
- FoodnMore has provided of 512,000 pounds of food to communities over the past year, and we have also expanded this program out to Siksika Nation.
- Community partnerships thrive when working with Prospect and the Remand Centre. Every Monday at Prospect, we work with and train a group of 10 clients for 8 weeks. We host similar 8-week training programs for 4 different groups of inmates at the Remand Centre and 3 different groups through CMHA Mental Health.
The impact of the Good Food Box Program - A testimonial from a senior:
"We are seniors who receive Alberta benefits, we are so blessed with the food we receive with the Spinz-A-Round program. We love a good variety of things to help us cook and eat much more healthy. Using this program and the Good Food Box where we purchase the large box gives us choice to prepare healthy meals. In our home you don’t normally find snack foods. Thank you Marilyn and staff for your efforts and continue to help those on minimum income. It is so much appreciated." ~P.R.
Our Programs How We Do It
Community Kitchen, through it's various programs, provides services that are delivered without regard for race, religion, culture, disability or sexual orientation. The Community Kitchen Program believes that hunger transcends all distinctions that society makes about people.
There is approximately 7.7% or 70,000 men, women and children in Calgary alone that deal with food insecurity, and Community Kitchen has programs in place that deal with some of these problems, such as lack of good nutritious food, and the preparation and delivery of this this same food to the people through its programs.
Some examples of our Community Kitchen Programs are:
Good Food Box | The Good Food Box makes top-quality, fresh food available in a way that does not stigmatize people, fosters community development and promotes healthy eating.
- Small Box: $25, 20-25lbs of fruits and vegetables
- Medium Box: $30, 30-35lbs of fruits and vegetables
- Large Box: $35, 40-45lbs of fruits and vegetables
Spinz-A-Round | Spinz Around is a program that rescues food collected from local merchants that may have otherwise been thrown away. Fresh produce, bread and other donations from suppliers, farmers' markets and others arrive and are distributed. Multiple organizations come to the Spinz-A-Round section of the warehouse to pick up the food to deliver to families around the city.
Calgary’s Cooking Program | The Calgary's Cooking program gives people regular opportunities to plan and cook a collection of nutritious and budget-friendly meals they then take home to their own freezers. Individuals can form their own groups, or join existing kitchens (most community kitchens meet monthly). Prior to the "cook date," participants get together to plan their menus. Community Kitchen’s then purchases the ingredients at wholesale prices which allows members to prepare 14 days of meals at a low cost.
Souper Stars Program | The Souper Stars Program is a series of ten 70 minute classes, 1 class per week, taught to 30 different classrooms a year. The program is designed to teach children in grades 4 to 6 how to attain a safe and healthy lifestyle. The program covers personal hygiene, basic nutrition, kitchen and food safety, grocery shopping, etiquette, stranger security and vegetable and lunch preparation. Our purpose is to empower children to have confidence in their ability to function safely in a kitchen setting and to inspire them to make healthy food and lifestyle choices.
Tummy Tamers Program | The Tummy Tamers program is a summer program providing complementary hot lunches and nutritious snacks for children ages 6-12 at the City of Calgary Park ’n’ Play day camp sites. Many children rely on school feeding programs and go hungry during the summer months. Each hot lunch is also complete with a short interactive lesson on health and nutrition.
Disaster Response | Community Kitchen Program of Calgary is contacted if there is a disaster in the City of Calgary involving more than 100 people. We then create meals for the disaster response staff in order for them to continue helping victims of the trauma they have just experienced, as well as meals for the evacuees. We rely on donations and all staff members are called in to prepare the meals.
Welcome Home Hampers | The Welcome Home Hampers are designed to help those coming out of transitional housing and homelessness. Agencies apply for a hamper for their clients as they leave shelters, etc. The hampers we give out are meant to last a family up to a month.
For more information about any of these great programs please see www.ckpcalgary.ca or call 403.275.0258
Our Requests What You Can Do
Community Kitchens has many programs, all of which need financial aid and donated supplies to advance the programs and reach those in need in our city. Poverty and hunger have increased significantly even in this past year and, as the cost of fuel and food increases, it is creating an even larger problem. We appreciate all of the help we get to keep our programs running and to have the accessibility to products we need.
All donations help and go directly towards helping the programs run as effectively as possible to help those who can't help themselves. Opportunity to give is below!
Donations by Credit Card or Cheque | You can make your donation by cheque and mail it to the following address:
Community Kitchen Program of Calgary, 3751 - 21 Street, NE, Calgary, AB, T2E 6T5
Donations Over the Phone | You can also make your donation by phone during Monday - Friday from 8:30am - 4:00pm MST. When calling, please provide your name, credit card number and expiry date to an authorized Community Kitchen Staff Member. Please call 403-275-0258 to donate.
Donations Online | You are able to make a donation online through CanadaHelps.org. Make a donation online at any time and receive your tax receipt on an email right after your donation. Please refer to link at: Canada Helps - Community Kitchen Program.
Donations Inkind | You are also able to donate inkind items.
Our Wish List
- Donations for General Operations
- 3 Ton Truck
- Printing Services
- Dish Soap and Laundry Soap
- Warehouse Equipment
- Hygienic or toiletry items
If you wish to donate any food or materials to us, please contact Sundae Nordin at 403-538-7379 regarding your choice of non-monetary donation.