Frequently Asked Questions

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People & Food Questions

Q: Do you serve only Airdrie?

A: We provide assistance to people within Airdrie, Crossfield, Balzac, Beiseker, Madden and surrounding areas. If you are unsure if we serve your area, contact us.

Q: Can anyone just drop by and get food?

A: Yes and no. Anyone in need can drop by the food bank to pick up bread and extras. To qualify for a hamper (7 - 10 days worth of food) all clients must go through a screening process and be assigned a day/time to pick it up.

Q: How do you know people really need the food?

A: When someone asks for food, there is an intake interview to determine if that person fits the eligibility criteria. We ask questions to determine how much money remains after monthly expenses have been paid to meet the rest of their needs. The interview is necessary so that food goes to people who need it. If someone comes more than 3 times, we ask for proof of income and expenses. The process respects the dignity of those involved and provides accountability to our donors.

Q: I heard of someone who drives a nice car (or wears very nice clothes or lives in a nice house) who got a hamper. How do I know people aren't taking food who don't need it?

A: The food bank is an emergency food service for anybody in financial crisis, including those with nice homes/cars. If that person has just been laid off, they probably wouldn't sell their car or house to get food immediately. We help them through the tight spot so they can get back in their feet and not lose their house. In all cases, we so screen every applicant to verify that they are in need at that time.

Q: If the food bank just gives food to people, doesn't that just teach them to keep coming back for free food?

A: Our experience has shown is that the average client accesses the Food Bank 2.6 times. A large portion of our clients are simply going through a crisis (e.g. divorce, ill-health, job layoff) that requires them to ask for assistance to help them out in the short term. The food bank also refers clients to a variety of agencies that can help them out of their situation. We offer a hand up not a hand-out.

Q: How often can someone come for help?

A: If they are in need, they can come every day we are open for bread and extras. They can also apply for a hampers (7 - 10 days of food) once every thirty days, to a maximum of 6 in a 12 month period.

Q: How many people does the Airdrie Food Bank help?

A: Please view our current stats on the numbers of people we helped directly in the last year and more. These numbers don't include people helped through food we provide to other agencies.

Q: How much food do you give out ?

A: We give out approximately 7 to 10 days worth of food per person in each hamper. We also offer bread and extras to tie our clients over in between hampers, whenever needed. In addition, we have a number of other programs including feeding new moms and their babies, emergency hampers and students at area schools.

Q: What types of food does the food bank offer?

A: The Airdrie Food Bank prides itself in distributing a variety of quality, nutritious foods to individuals and families. Regular hamper items include many canned goods (vegetables, fruit, soup, tuna, etc.) as well as pasta, grains, beverages, cereal, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat products. We also provide hygiene products (when available) as well as baby food.

Q: What about food allergies?

A: We do have families with food allergies - milk, gluten, nuts and diabetics being the most common. We have a special shelf where these items are stored and used whenever requested.

Q: Where does the food bank get their food?

A: The majority of food comes to us through direct food donations from members of our generous community. Food is collected from local drop boxes at grocery stores, food drives, corporate and special events as well as items dropped off at our warehouse. We recieve food such as bread, pastries, fruits, vegetables, and near-dated dairy products from grocery stores and food distributers. We also receive food from farmers and local growers.

Whenever you donate food, please check our Most Needed List for items needed at this time.

Q: Do you accept perishable food?

A: Yes! We accept all kinds of perishable food items (vegetables, fruit and certified/store-bought meat). Please bring them to our warehouse during office hours so that our staff can them in a cooler/freezer immediately.

Q: Do you give out foods that are expired?

A: We make every effort to ensure that all food we hand out is safe and are within the best before dates. When incoming food is sorted, all food past the best before dates are removed from hamper circulation. If the best before date is still within the past year we offer these items, with permission from the local health authority, to our clients to take at their discretion. If you are donating food, please check the best before date. Our motto is that if we wouldn't eat it ourselves, we don't give it out to others.

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Financial Questions

Q: Are the financial accounts of the Food Bank audited?

A: We follow acceptable accounting practices and have our books reviewed yearly by a certified Accountant. Our financial statements are presented each year at our Annual General Meeting and are available for review.

Q: Are your donation receipts tax deductible?

A: The Airdrie Food Bank is registered with Revenue Canada as a charitable organization and therefore is able to provide tax receipts for eligible donations.

Q: Does the Food Bank sell any of its food supplies?

A: No. We are a member of the Food Bank Alberta and Food Banks Canada and adhere to their codes of ethics, which prohibits the sale of donated food. We do share (give) extra food to smaller food banks in Alberta who need it as well as to other local charities (e.g. Manna House).

Q: Does Airdrie Food Bank need financial donations?

A: Absolutely! We need cash on hand in order to purchase perishable items which cannot be accepted at our food collection locations, such as vegetables, dairy and meats products. We can often purchase more food with a dollar than members of the public can.

Also, we do have operation expenses in order to operate (utilities, telephone service, maintenance, gas for our van, etc.). All of these expenses are directly related to achieving our mission.

Q: How much of my donation is designated for programs and the mission of the food bank? How much is used for administrative expenses?

A: All donations received go directly to support our programs, including administration tasks associated with those programs.

Q: Do you accept credit cards?

A: Yes. The Airdrie Food Bank accepts all credit cards and debit at our location. You can donate online through CanadaHelps. You can also send a cheque to:

Airdrie Food Bank
20 East Lake Way,
Airdrie, AB T4A 2J3

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Organizational Questions

Q: How do you work with other agencies?

A: We network with other agencies in order to provide supports that our clients may need. We meet with the other agencies on a regular basis to share statistics, examine trends and find more effective ways to coordinate our services.

Q: Does you support any political party?

A: No. the Airdrie Food Bank is non-partisan. We will, however, comment on public issues that affect our clients and advocate to local, provincial and federal governments on behalf of their issues.

Q: Are you funded by the government?

A: The Airdrie Food Bank is a privately funded, non-profit charitable organization that relies upon public support and donations in order to operate and fulfill its mission of providing quality food to people facing hunger. Over the years, 5 to 10% of the funding comes through government organizations (grants, etc.) and 90 to 95% through private donations and fundraising events.

Q: Do people get paid to work at Airdrie Food Bank?

A: Yes. It is necessary for us to pay a small group of staff in order to operate effectively as well as be accountable and efficient with the money that is given to us. To keep costs down we have a large number of volunteers (200) that support our programs in a variety of positions. Without the thousands of donated volunteer hours we would not be able to do the work we do.

Q: Can you eliminate the need for food banks?

A: We are a member of the Food Banks Canada who's mandate is to educate politicians, the public and community leaders on hunger issues with the goal to support those who need food banks.

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Volunteer & Donation Questions

Q: How can I help?

A: There are many ways to help in addition to donating food and funds. Visit our Get Involved and/or Volunteer Opportunities for details.

Q: Where do I drop off donated food?

A: Donations can be dropped off at the Airdrie Food Bank during office hours or in drop boxes located in Safeway, Co-op, No Frills, Superstore, Sobeys, Save-on-Foods and Walmart. Be sure to visit our What's Needed page for a list of our most needed items at this time.

Q: Do you accept clothes and blankets?

A: We do not have space to store clothing, etc. Community Links, a partner agency in Airdrie, has a jacket racket program that provides coats and house hold items to those in need. They accept those items and give them to the same people we serve. In fact, we refer many of our clients to them for other supports.

Do I need to let Airdrie Food Bank know that I am having a food drive or fundraiser?

A: Yes, it is very important that we be aware of your event so that we can support your efforts. Please visit our Third Party Events page for details.

Q: Can I use your logo for my event?

A: You are welcome to use our logo for your promotional materials. Contact our Event Coordinator and we would be happy to help you out.

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Ask Us

Q: Have a question you would like answered?

A: Feel free to email us. We will respond to you and likely include the question and answer in a future update.

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Charitable # 88836 4262 RR0001
Copyright 2017 Airdrie Food Bank. All rights reserved.