Free mini-outdoor food bank, library provided to Ranchlands housing co-operative

CALGARY — The motto “take a blessing and leave a blessing” is marked on the panels of a mini outdoor food bank and library in a northwest Calgary community.

The latest free food bank of its kind has been installed in a complex off Ranchview Road N.W.

The Love with Humanity Association has provided three other little pop-ups since the non-profit began in 2018.

“Our mission is that no one sleeps (with an) empty stomach,” said founder Syed Hassan. “This is a critical time, people are jobless and they are staying home. The economic situation is very bad. We need to think about it. As Canadians we have values.”

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The Springhill Ranch Housing Cooperative will oversee the maintenance of the structure which is no bigger than a small garden shed.

Its function is simple – anyone who wishes to leave non-perishable items or books in one of the cupboards may do so at any time.

In turn, anyone in need may also take items whenever they like.

“(People) may not be able to always go to the food bank, but they can actually partake in something such as this where they won’t have to worry about transportation,” said Ami Downing, one of the co-op’s board members.

Prasad Panda, the MLA for Calgary-Edgemont, cut the ribbon at the official opening on Saturday.

“When elected officials like me come to events like this, the volunteers need acknowledgment and appreciation,” he said.

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The founders of the Love with Humanity Association want to add more pop-up food banks in other communities throughout Alberta with a long-term goal of establishing a full network of the sites in Canada.

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