The State of Calgary's Emergency Food Assistance System

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 resulted in shifts in the way that organizations and community-based initiatives provide food and revealed gaps and opportunities within the emergency food system.

In order to better understand and develop recommendations to improve Calgary’s emergency food assistance program, the Canadian Poverty Institute and Vibrant Communities Calgary published Examining Calgary’s Emergency Food Assistance System in March 2021. The purpose of the research was to explore the scope of food insecurity in Calgary in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, assess the effectiveness of the current emergency food system, and identify opportunities for improving the effectiveness of the emergency food assistance system.

More than a year later, challenges and disruptions continue to shape Canada’s food systems. The resiliency and adaptability of the system is continually tested, and it remains unclear which changes to the Canadian food system, from the COVID-19 pandemic, will be permanent. This report serves as an update to Examining Calgary’s Emergency Food Assistance System. The purpose is to follow up on the recommendations developed from the original study, and examine which changes were temporary or permanent. It also seeks to document stories from the community; celebrating innovative projects and lessons learned.

Published 3 October 2022

Updated 30 November 2022