Calgary Food Bank

500 11 Street SE
Calgary, AB T2H 2Y5
President & CEO: James McAra
Board Chair: Amy Leong

Charitable Reg. #: 13016 7349 RR0001
Sector: Social Services - Food Bank (Distributor)
Operating Charity

Charity Rating

[Charity Rating: 4/4]

Results Reporting

Grade: A+

The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity's website [Audited financial statement for most recent year]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to the Cause

2016 2017 2018
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Impact Rating: Good

Full-time staff #54

Avg. Compensation $59,647

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 1
$120k - $160k 0
$80k - $120k 5
$40k - $80k 4
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2018

About Calgary Food Bank:

Founded in 1982, Calgary Food Bank is an emergency food distribution hub that collects and distributes food to individuals, families, single parents and homeless people. The charity reports that one in ten individuals in Alberta experiences food insecurity and 17% of its clients are children. Calgary Food Bank runs multiple programs, each targeting a different age group with different needs. In F2018, Calgary Food Bank's major programs were its emergency food hamper program ($21m), its regional food share program ($7m), its food link program ($3m), its homeless hamper program ($2m), and its weekends and more program ($510k). These numbers are from the F2018 annual report, but do not exactly match the total program cost number in its F2018 audited financial statements (found below)Calgary Food Bank also has a Milk program to provide milk for children and families. 

Calgary Food Bank’s Emergency Food Hampers contain the equivalent of one week of food for each person in need and meet Canada’s Food Guide standards. In addition to the hamper, the food bank refers its clients to local agencies to help them deal with their underlying reasons for food insecurity. Specialty hampers are available for people with allergies, specific dietary restrictions, or for expecting mothers and fathers. In F2018, the charity distributed 66,204 (68,084 in F2017) emergency food hampers and provided 13,317 (7,704 in F2017) client referrals. 

The Food Link program provides quality food and supplies to 239 (228 in F2017) Calgary agencies and community programs. This allows the partner agencies to focus their resources on food delivery instead of food collections. In F2018, the food bank distributed 2.6 million pounds (3.0m in 2017) of food through the program. 

The food bank’s Homeless Hamper program supplies charity agencies with homeless hampers, allowing agencies to focus on their programming. The hampers contain two to three days of ready-to-eat food for those who lack a food source. In F2018, Calgary Food Bank distributed 14,080 bags to 15 agencies.  

The Weekends and More (WAM) program provides food to hungry children to support them over the weekend. The food bank has recognized that four in ten clients are children, and proper nutrition is important for good health and learning. In F2018, the WAM program ran in ten schools in Calgary and 8,621 (8,710 in F2017) hampers of food were distributed to chronically hungry students. 

Results and Impact: Calgary Food Bank reported in F2017 that its Emergency Food Hampers program saved clients $17.3m ($19.6m in F2017) that could otherwise be used to pay for rent, utilities, childcare or other weekly expenses. The food bank reported that 79% of students in its WAM program improved class participation, 59% improved academic performance, and 81% improved concentrationFor Alcove, an addiction recovery organization for women, Food Link saves them 40% of their budget, according to Executive Director Cheryl NandeeCharity Intelligence has reviewed Calgary Food Bank since 2007 and has consistently found this organization to be a high-rated food bank. Ci gave Calgary Food Bank an impact rating of Good for proven impact per dollar (see impact grid on the bottom right). 

Financial Review:

Calgary Food Bank is one of Canada's Major 100 charities, receiving monetary donations of $8.6m along with $27.9m in donated food in F2018. Administrative costs are 4% of total revenues (excluding investment income) and fundraising costs are 2% of total donations. For every dollar donated to the charity, 94 cents go to the cause, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.  

The charity has total funding reserves of $9.6m. Excluding the cost of donated food, Calgary Food Bank’s funding reserves cover program costs for just over one year. 

This report is an update that has been sent to Calgary Food Bank for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated June 17, 2019 by Parker Thomlinson.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 3.8%3.4%3.5%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 1.9%1.4%1.6%
Program cost coverage (%) 28.1%27.7%18.1%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 8,64910,0419,922
Goods in kind 27,94026,65927,149
Investment income 240181111
Other income 372586169
Total revenues 37,20137,46737,351
Program costs 6,2225,9235,667
Grants 27,94026,65927,149
Administrative costs 1,4041,2721,300
Fundraising costs 160142155
Cash flow from operations 1,4743,4713,080
Funding reserves 9,5979,0295,952
Note: Ci has excluded amortization of deferred capital contributions from its revenue calculations, decreasing total revenue by $109k in F2018, $245k in F2017, and $499k in F2016. For food banks, Ci excludes donated goods in kind from its program cost coverage ratio calculations. Food donations in kind are included in grants for expenses. 

Comments added by the Charity:

Calgary Food Bank added in 2014:

At the Calgary Food Bank transparency and accountability to the community is taken very seriously. We also recognize that the ongoing sharing of information can occur in many different ways. We encourage all of our donors to contact us directly if they have feedback or cannot find information that they require through our website. Please contact us at 403-253-2059 or

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