Long winter taking toll on Calgary charity that feeds those in need

The continuous cold and snowy weather this winter has caused stressful days and logistic nightmares for grassroots, non-profit charities such as Leftovers Calgary.

Months of cold and snow causing headaches for Leftovers YYC

Lourdes Juan says it's been a tough winter because of the never-ending cold weather. (Andrea Wong)

For the past five years, Leftovers Calgary has co-ordinated 72 delivery routes a week, using 200 volunteer drivers and one small transport truck bought with help from a corporate sponsor.  

That's a lot of help, but this winter has proven to be one of the hardest they have ever had to manage. 

"Sheer maintenance, gas and all that stuff that it costs to operate our truck has gone up twice as much than we had anticipated" said executive director Lourdes Juan. 

Like most non-profits, Leftovers YYC has a tight budget. Its mission is to rescue perfectly good food from being wasted, and deliver it to people in need.  

During one delivery trip in the donated truck, a volunteer driver hit ice on the highway and ended up in the ditch. 

Juan says it's lucky there were no injuries and that the sponsor covered the repair costs. However, they have had to reach into their bank account more often than expected this winter. 

"As a non-profit, you want to keep a good cushion in your bank account. I guess that's every non-profit, every social enterprise, every business. And so when you're dipping into that, it gets a little bit scary," Juan said. 

Luckily, the weather is now giving them a break, but Juan says they'll be using these experiences as a way to prepare for the next cold snap.