Calgary·FOOD BANK DRIVE

CBC Calgary's Blitz Day Thursday raises $1M for Calgary Food Bank

CBC Calgary's Blitz Day Thursday racked up $1 million in donations for the Calgary Food Bank this year, hitting the goal around 5:55 p.m. Thursday.

Annual drive to raise spirits hit goal at approximately 5:55 p.m.

The Homestretch's Doug Dirks and Jenny Howe announced that this year's Blitz Day raised $1 million in donations for the Calgary Food Bank on air at approximately 5:55 p.m. (Alisha Edgelow)

CBC Calgary's Blitz Day on Thursday officially hit its goal as part of our annual drive to raise spirits — raising $1 million in donations for the Calgary Food Bank.

At approximately 5:55 p.m. on Thursday, Doug Dirks and Jenny Howe of The Homestretch made the announcement that  CBC Calgary'/Radio-Canada's annual Food Bank Drive had raised $1,085,103 from generous Albertans.

For 35 years, Calgarians have been donating to the Calgary Food Bank through CBC/Radio-Canada's annual Food Bank Drive, raising more than $20 million.

This year, from Dec. 4 to 24, join us virtually for special broadcasts, events, auctions and online sales.

Like everyone, CBC is adapting to the realities of life and work during a pandemic. This year, we are happy to bring you Make the Season Kind: In support of the Calgary Food Bank — our annual drive with a safety-promoting twist.

As part of that, we want you to share your heart-warming tales of how you showed or received an act of kindness this year and be entered to win a prize pack. We'll continue to share these heart-warming acts from Albertans in the days ahead, on the CBC Calgary radio programs Calgary Eyeopener, Alberta@Noon and The Homestretch, CBC Calgary's website and social media.

Here's a recap of what happened on Blitz Day 2020, from a safe distance online and on the air:

The Calgary Eyeopener with David Gray and Angela Knight (6-8:30 a.m.)

It may not be the Blitz Day we all know, but we still had a great time during the Calgary Eyeopener's fundraising push for the Calgary Food Bank. We had a Zoom party with Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Julie Van Rosendaal and many more. Plus, live music was enjoyed from the safety of the studio with John Wort Hannam and the Eyeopener reindeer had a few special, safe surprises as well.

Those who tuned in showed us how they listened on Instagram and Twitter with #CBCFeedsYYC.

Alberta@Noon with Judy Aldous (12-1 p.m.)

What's the kindest thing anyone's ever done for you? What have you done to spread kindness in your community? Alberta@Noon opened the phone lines for listeners to share stories of kindness from across the province.

The Homestretch with Doug Dirks and Jenny Howe (3-6 p.m.)

On the show, we heard conversations with the president and CEO of the Calgary Food Bank, James McAra; Calgary's poet laureate, the founder of a new provincewide organization for arts professionals who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour; our wine columnist Laurie MacKay; and the Calgary Opera. We also heard music from Alberta musicians playing some holiday tunes and from local musicians Scarlett Butler and The Hello Darlins about their new projects.


Here's how you're helping when you donate to the Calgary Food Bank:

  • Every dollar donated to the Calgary Food Bank equals $5 worth of food distributed.
  • More than half of the food bank users are families.
  • One in three food bank users are children.
  • The Calgary Food Bank received more than 66,000 phone calls last year asking for support. That's more than 180 calls a day.
  • The Calgary Food Bank received more than 165,000 visits for emergency food hampers last year.
  • The Calgary Food Bank was able to support 900 students and their families through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and summer.
  • From mid-March until the end of August, 29 Food Link agencies received more than 154,675 kg (341,000 pounds) of quality food and supplies.
  • Last year, 725,748 kg (1.6 million pounds) of food was distributed through Food Link to 215 programs, with a value of $4.2 million.
  • The Calgary Food Bank distributed more than 24,000 food hampers to the homeless population.
  • 48 per cent of the people who work at the Calgary Food Bank are volunteers.
  • 98,135 hampers were distributed through the Calgary Food Bank hamper programs.
  • 67,879 hampers were distributed through the Calgary Food Banks Emergency Food Hamper Program.

Other in-demand items to support the Calgary Food Bank:

  • Pasta sauce.
  • Pasta.
  • Rice.
  • Cereal.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Canned beans.
  • Canned meat/fish.
  • Canned vegetables.
  • Canned fruit.

Non-perishable food donations can be made in the donation bins at any major grocery store, the Calgary Food Bank warehouse (door #3) or at the outdoor bins located at Parkdale Community Centre to Dec. 22.


Volunteers at the Calgary Food Bank sort donations in March 2020, before heightened COVID-19 restrictions kicked in. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

Big thanks for our community partners

A big thank you to our community partners, who are working to fill every plate in Calgary this season.

  1. YYC Tech Gives: Since 2010, YYC Tech Gives has donated over $1.5 million, which translates to over $7.5 million worth of food in the hands of Calgarians in need. Learn more
     
  2. Fratello Coffee Roasters: Fratello Coffee Roasters works directly with farmers around the world to produce coffee that is not only delicious, but also ethically sourced. Fratello has generously donated over 1,500 bags of One Gray Knight specially roasted coffee so that all of the money collected can go directly to the Calgary Food Bank. Learn more
     
  3. Local Laundry:  CBC Calgary worked with Local Laundry to create a special edition crewneck specifically for this holiday season with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the Calgary Food Bank. The limited edition run sold out within minutes of being offered up but you still have a shot at winning one in a prize pack if you enter our Acts of Kindness contest. Learn more.
     
  4. Parkdale Community Association: This year, Parkdale Community Association has come on board to help collect non-perishable food donations. Learn more.
     
  5. Brookfield Properties: Brookfield Properties owns, manages and develops office properties in Calgary and around the world. In previous years, Brookfield Properties has donated the space for our downtown donation desks, as well as space for several of the CBC Calgary Food Bank Drive events during the campaign. This year they are using their space to help us create awareness and encourage online donations. Learn more.
     
  6. The Calgary Food Bank: Established in 1982, the Calgary Food Bank is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to gathering and distributing quality emergency food to those in need. The Calgary Food Bank hands out 262 emergency hampers every day, as well as provides resources to other food banks and agencies in Alberta. Learn more

Share your acts of kindness and you could win

And don't forget — you can share your story with us of how you showed or received an act of kindness this year with an online form here or by using the hashtag #CBCFeedsYYC on Instagram or Twitter. You can also share your act of kindness by calling and leaving a message for the Calgary Eyeopener at 403-521-6209 or The Homestretch 403-521-6244.

Whichever way you choose, you'll be entered to win a local prize pack, which include: 

Here are some of the wonderful stories we've received so far:


See the full schedule of events, contests, auction items, partners and more for the CBC/Radio-Canada's annual Calgary Food Bank Drive here.

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