Calgary Food Bank

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

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

2015 2016 2017
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Impact Rating: Good

Full-time staff #45

Avg. Compensation $80,488

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 1
$120k - $160k 0
$80k - $120k 4
$40k - $80k 5
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2017

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 47% of its clients are families with children. Calgary Food Bank runs multiple programs, each targeting a different age group with different needs. Some of its programs include the Emergency Food Hampers program, Weekends and More, which aims to feed children, the Food Link program that supports other local agencies and the 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 address their underlying reasons for food insecurity. Specialty hampers are available for people with allergies, specific dietary restrictions, or for expecting mothers and fathers. In F2017, the charity distributed 68,084 emergency food hampers and provided 7,704 client referrals.

The Weekends and More (WAM) program provides food insecure children with food to support them over the weekend. The food bank has recognized that 4 in 10 clients are children, and it is important for children to get nutritious food to stay healthy and learning. In F2017, the WAM program was run in 10 schools in Calgary and 8,710 hampers of food were distributed to chronically hungry students.

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

The food bank’s Milk program provides bulk milk to agencies for distribution to pregnant or nursing mothers, and children as part of the Emergency Hamper Program. The charity notes that families with children receive extra milk. In F2017, Calgary Food Bank worked with 20 agencies, supplying 10,805 two-litre cartons of milk.

Results and Impact:

Calgary Food Bank reported in F2017 that its Emergency Food Hampers program saved clients $19.6m that could 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 and 59% improved academic performance. Charity Intelligence has reviewed Calgary Food Bank since 2007 and has consistently found Calgary Food Bank 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).

Further detailed analysis on Calgary Food Bank’s programs can be found here.

Financial Review:

Calgary Food Bank is one of Canada's Major 100 charities, receiving monetary donations of $9.8m along with $26.7m in donated food in F2017. Administrative costs are 3% of total revenues and fundraising costs are 1.5% of total donations. For every dollar donated to the charity, $0.95 goes towards its programs, which falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. The charity has total funding reserves of $9.0m. Excluding the cost of donated food, Calgary Food Bank’s funding reserves cover program costs for 18 months.

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

Updated June 26, 2018 by Derek Houlberg.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 3.4%3.5%3.2%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 1.5%1.7%2.0%
Program cost coverage (%) 152.4%105.0%59.8%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 9,7779,4237,101
Goods in kind 26,65927,14927,500
Investment income 18111154
Other income 586169196
Total revenues 37,20236,85334,850
Program costs 5,9235,6675,575
Grants 26,65927,14927,500
Administrative costs 1,2721,3001,111
Fundraising costs 142155142
Cash flow from operations 3,2062,581523
Funding reserves 9,0295,9523,332
Note: Ci has excluded amortization of deferred capital contributions from its revenue calculations, increasing total expenses by $439k in F2017, $391k in F2016 and $387 in F2015. For food banks, Ci excludes donated goods in kind from its program cost coverage ratio calculations.

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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