New food bank run by veterans, for veterans opens in Calgary

Calgary now has a new food bank run by veterans, for veterans after the old food bank unexpectedly closed months ahead of schedule.

The old food bank unexpectedly shut its doors last month

Calgary's new veterans' food bank is now up and running. (CBC)

Calgary now has a new food bank run by veterans, for veterans after their old food bank unexpectedly closed months ahead of schedule.

The Veterans Association Food Bank officially opened its doors on Monday. The shelves were empty, but spokesperson Marie Blackburn said they don't expect them to stay that way for long.

"We've had a lot of calls this morning," she said.

The former Calgary Veterans Food Bank, which was run by the Royal Canadian Legion, unexpectedly shut down in September despite an announced closure date of January 2019.

The new food bank is run by the veterans themselves, instead of by the Legion.

"It's veterans helping veterans," said Blackburn. "It's just kind of getting veterans more involved, letting them have a voice as opposed to everyone telling them what they think they need."

Wayne Bonney, who served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Cuban missile crisis, is one of the volunteers.

"It's fantastic. There's nothing like it. It's very hard to explain to a civilian what a veteran is going through," Bonney said.

One of the ideas the group is exploring is creating a space where veterans can gather together or receive counselling.

The new food bank is located at Bay 14, 2916 5th Avenue N.E..

With files from Lucie Edwardson


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