Calgary

New outdoor food bank in Forest Lawn emptying out daily

A new outdoor community food bank in the southeast community of Forest Lawn has been met with overwhelming demand.

Organizers say 'overwhelming response' reflects need in time of COVID-19

Syed Hassan's Love with Humanity Association has set up a new food bank in Forest Lawn. The group has multiple outdoor food banks located around Calgary. (CBC)

A new outdoor community food bank in the southeast community of Forest Lawn has been met with overwhelming demand.

Organizer Syed Hassan with the Love with Humanity Association says that since the food bank was installed on Friday, it has emptied out once per day.

He says they fill the shelves in the morning but they're bare by the evening.

It's believed the demand is high because people have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sheena Keslick, vice-president of operations with Mainstreet Equity Corp., collaborated with the association to launch the project.

The Love with Humanity Association food banks are split into two halves, one door to donate and one door to take. (CBC)

Since the project launched in Forest Lawn on Friday, people have been taking what they need and dropping off what they can, she said.

"People haven't been abusing it," Keslick said. "It's just been an overwhelming response. It's definitely been needed in this community."

While the association has installed multiple outdoor food banks across the city, so far Forest Lawn has been the busiest, and it's expected to stay that way until the pandemic is over.

"During this pandemic and during this crisis, we're in a critical situation with food," Keslick said. "We believe that people need food. Obviously, it's not a privilege, it's a basic human right that people have food."

The association asks that anyone attending the food bank follow COVID-19 guidelines, including wearing masks, using hand sanitizer and observing physical distancing.

The Forest Lawn outdoor food bank is at 1300 41st St. S.E.

With files from Elise von Scheel.

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