News Story

Calgary Latter-day Saints Help Fight Hunger

Volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were among 7,000 people who partnered with the Calgary Food Bank to collect hundreds of thousands of pounds of non-perishable food during the September 15, 2018, city-wide food drive. The nearby city of Airdrie and the towns of Cochrane and Okotoks also held food drives for their communities that same week.

The Calgary City-Wide Food Drive volunteer effort included families and individuals who donated their time to distribute and collect 300,000 donation bags in 198 communities. The drive netted 400,693 pounds of non-perishable food for the Calgary Food Bank. Once collected, the donated food was loaded into 23 semi-trailers and transported to the food bank’s warehouse.

In its14th year, the Calgary City-Wide Food Drive involves thousands of volunteer hours, culminating in a finely tuned operation aimed at reducing hunger and food insecurity. Calgary Food Bank president and CEO James McCara said, “It is overwhelming, yet inspiring, to see so many families come together for the benefit of others. The food gathered is essential to ensuring Calgarians in crisis do not go hungry and are able to focus on their resilience.”

For many Latter-day Saint volunteers, participating in the food drive has become an intergenerational family tradition with grandparents, children and grandchildren working together. Ray and Sally Pyne have participated for several years. “Every year, we’re asked by our children and grandchildren when the food drive is going to happen so that they can make sure they’re available that weekend,” says Sally. “The excitement and the smiles that come to their faces as they pick up the bags and load them into the truck is priceless.”

Sally’s husband, Ray, says that participation is “one of the ways to provide humanitarian service that directly benefits those in need in our communities.”

Ray and Sally’s daughter, Annette Christie, whose husband and children collected food donations with Ray and Sally, adds, “Is there any better way to spend a Saturday than volunteering with your parents and grandparents? My kids don’t seem to think so. They’ve grown up experiencing those good feelings that come with helping others.”

Selfless service and caring for those in need is a foundational belief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. and the JustServe mobile app are provided by the Church to connect individuals — members and nonmembers alike — with service opportunities in their communities.

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