Grocery Run Program

Today in Edmonton perinatal, pregnant and post-partum women in immigrant and refugee communities are experiencing high and persistent levels of food insecurity. Often access to the Edmonton’s Food Bank (EFB) is inhibited by a lack of transportation, language barriers, unfamiliarity with many mainstream food products, and other factors.

MCHB is spearheading the Grocery Run program because many of our clientele are food insecure or in emergency food crisis. This means that families lack same-day food, and are unable to feed their children and other family members. This Grocery Run program allows us to provide a stop-gap measure while giving time for brokers and families to search for long-term solutions to poverty.

MCHB has collected a list of the most desired, culturally appropriate, healthful foods.  This program is not open to the general public,  but our registered  client families can come to our location at a specified time once per week to pick up a small package of food to alleviate some of the pressure they face. The long-term vision of this strategy is to free up brokers’ time and resources so that they may help families address root causes of poverty, in addition to using food as a gateway to initiate social change so that families may thrive.

kalelargeRight now we believe approximately 20-30 families per week will be served by this program.

If you or your organization, store, or company can offer donations, our volunteers are available to pick up your generous food donations . Food is picked-up from donors, delivered to our location, and distributed to families in less than 24 hours (most is gone within three hours of arrival).

We have a designated freezer and storage for any products that might be refrigerated (e.g. any products with meat, cheese, or dairy, fresh produce, etc.), and all materials for storage are food safe (e.g. food grade bags, gloves, etc.).  MCHB has consulted with Alberta Health Services and are food safety regulation compliant

MCHB is partnering with many different organizations. For example, the University of Alberta’s ENRICH project is looking to research barriers to healthy maternal weight gain in the community. Lady Flower Garden donates surplus fresh produce during the summer months, and COBS Bread donates day-old bread biweekly. Lastly, Little Potato Company donates surplus potatoes every week. We are so grateful to our partners and we hope they realize they are making such a big difference for our families.


Become part of the solution – Donate Today!

Anyone who wishes to donate safe to eat, healthy food is more than welcome to. The Charitable Food Donation Act waives any potential liability from a donor as long as the food is considered safe for human consumption. Anyone who wishes to donate can get in touch with our Community Resource Coordinator (sngo @ ualberta.ca or 780-423-1973) to arrange donation drop-offs or pick-ups.


Frequently Asked Questions about the MCHB Grocery Run Program

What is Food Security?

To learn more about food security, click here to read the facts and how MCHB wants to help those families dealing with food insecurity.

Who can donate food to the MCHB Grocery Run Program?

Anyone who wishes to donate safe to eat, healthy food is more than welcome to. The Charitable Food Donation Act waives any potential liability from a donor as long as the food is considered safe for human consumption

What happens to the food?

Upon receiving the food, it is immediately brought to the MCHB main office. From there, it is either stored for less than 24 hours or rapidly distributed to families who are in need. Many of these families are lacking same-day food, are recent arrivals who are awaiting paperwork processing, or some tragically have experienced some kind of traumatic event.

What if there isn’t enough food?

If there is a food shortage, then it means that many families must go without, unfortunately. We have had to turn families away once food has run out. Brokers at MCHB will also step in to assist families, and we have heard stories of Brokers paying out of their own pockets to help families.

What happens to extra food- or is there ever any?

Having extra food at a grocery run is rare, but any leftovers from the first day will be gone by the second day. That is because MCHB serves over 2,200 families per year and there is a great need for healthy food among our clients.

Perishables or non-perishables?

We can take both perishable and non-perishable foods. Because we distribute food so quickly, almost none of it is ever thrown out during a grocery run.

Who do I contact if I have further questions?

You can get in touch with our Community Resource Coordinator(sngo @ ualberta.ca or 780-423-1973).