Calgary

Calgary Veterans Food Bank shuts down 4 months early

The local Poppy Fund's board of directors said it would close the food bank in January 2019 in order to reallocate resources to other veterans' services.

Volunteer group working to fast-track replacement program

The Calgary Veterans Food Bank has closed its doors early. (CBC)

The Calgary Veterans Food Bank has shut its doors four months earlier than planned.

The local Poppy Fund's board of directors said it would close the food bank in January 2019 in order to reallocate resources to other veterans' services.

But this week, the door was locked with a closed sign directing veterans to the nearest legion.

Melanie Mitra, with the Canadian Legacy Project, said the early closure is unfortunate.

"I'm very disappointed in how that was all managed and communicated, but just based on how this whole issue has been managed, not surprised at all," Mitra said.

The Legacy Project — a veterans charity, advocacy and support group — offered to step in and support the food bank to ensure it stayed open, but their offer was declined.

A group of volunteers was working on a plan to replace it by mid-October, and that plan is now being fast-tracked.

"We were hoping to transition with an earlier start date sometime in Oct. 1 to 15, but we knew we had a little bit of leeway because the old food bank was running, so we could buy some time and help do the transition," said Eric Naus, who is the spokesperson behind the effort.

"So with that news happening just this week, it really has fast forwarded things and we have to move a little bit quicker here and make this priority number one." 

Nauss said the organization is also an important social resource for veterans.

CBC reached out to the Poppy Fund and Alberta-Northwest Territories Legion command, but did not receive a response.

With files from Terri Trembath.

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