“Food is not a patient thing, it’s urgent”: how data collection and sharing can help people in Calgary access emergency food

Vibrant Communities Calgary and Technology Helps are partnering to build a data-driven system that can connect people in need of food with the community organizations that have it

Why It Matters

As the affordability crisis deepens in Calgary, more people are turning to emergency food providers. Collating real-time data on the inventory that food providers hold can help the sector coordinate to reach those in need. However, a system of this sort requires both employees and volunteers to move past “mental barriers” and engage with data processes.


Food banks alone are no longer able to keep up with the growing demand for emergency food in Calgary.  (Image: Vibrant Communities Calgary)

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Before Covid, there were 65 emergency charity food providers in the city of Calgary. 

Seemingly overnight, the number shot up to a couple of hundred, says Meaghon Reid, the executive director of Vibrant Communities Calgary, an organization that aims to eradicate poverty i

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