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:
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’!
2016 Annual Report Highlights:
The impact of the Good Food Box Program – A testimonial from a Depot:
As a depot, it allows us to serve the community in a “Hands-Up” way, it allows our clients to keep their pride when they have to pay for their food.
Clients continue to rave over the program and their “Good Food Boxes”. They are so thankful for the program and love the surprise of discovering what is in their box each month. Huge value in the cost and quality of the boxes as I often hear, how important this food is to them as they can’t afford it otherwise.
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.
Community Kitchen Program of Calgary has been serving men, women, children and seniors in Calgary dealing with food insecurity issues since 1991. In 2016 we served over 172,616 clients, men, women, children and seniors and distributed 950,385 lbs of food to Calgary and area.
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.
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
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
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.