Local organization Calgary Community Fridge is working alongside Bite Grocer in a fundraising event aiming to raise awareness around local food scarcity and feed people in need.
Jenny Kay founded Calgary Community Fridge during the COVID-19 pandemic, when she noticed food scarcity becoming a larger concern for many Calgarians.
She explains income is the root of most food insecurity and the organization wanted to find a feasible way to help those in need.
Neil Godsman, manager of Bite Grocer, believes it is also important to give back to the community by supporting local vendors.
“We really focus on local, particularly Calgarian goods and really small vendors,” said Godsman. “[But] we do have a healthy mix, we’ve got some conventional items.”
In addition, this helps Bite Grocer stand out as a locally owned and operated business.
“We don’t have the buying power of some of the bigger guys, but we really try and attack that by having unique local goods that you can’t find anywhere else,” said Godsman.
Kay hopes the fundraiser with Bite Grocer will raise awareness about their organization and encourage others to get involved in non-profit projects fighting food insecurity. She says food businesses facing oversupply of stock can also help.
“There’s often overages, stuff that isn’t gonna get used before it goes bad, and all of that can be donated to the Fridge.”
According to Godsman, it is necessary to regularly keep their fridge stocked to assist those struggling.
“It’s emptied twice a day and filled twice a day,” said Godsman. “That just tells you how many people are using that service right now with food scarcity issues, so we want to try and help keep it full.”
Kay says funds collected from the fundraiser will be used to keep their fridge fully stocked for the upcoming winter months when communities are often more in need of such resources.
“We like to do a little bit of hoarding of our money so that we can keep as much food stocked as possible,” said Kay.
The Calgary Community Fridge is also hoping this fundraiser will help people learn they can open a fridge in their area.
Despite food insecurity continuing to challenge many Calgarians, Kay hopes small events such as this one will offer people a chance to get involved and help others in their community.
“This is the way change starts,” said Kay. “We can start implementing these changes and hopefully push them up the ladder and get to bigger and reformative change.”
“Our little fridge up in Crescent Heights sees so much foot traffic, and it’s only one fridge,” says Kay. “The more fridges we have, the more people have access to food around where they live.”
The goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of the fundraiser on June 18. Bite Grocer is collecting donations at the store till and online, where customers will also be entered in a draw to win free groceries.