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Crossroads market vendor gives up day of sales each week to help Calgary Food Bank

Broxburn Vegetables at the Crossroads Market has been stepping up to do their part in helping to fight food insecurity in Calgary.

Every Sunday, they turn their stand at the market over to Calgary Food Bank volunteers, and along with that, all of the proceeds raised and any excess vegetables from the day.

All of which has been going to help supplement emergency hampers, of which there has been an rapid increase in demand for in the city—over 30 per cent year-over-year, and over 700 per day.

“We are so appreciative of this incredible partnership because of Crossroads and their relationship with their vendors, specifically the growers,” said Betty Jo Kaiser, Public Relations and Communications for the Calgary Food Bank.

“When I say we, I mean we’re really just taking that great food and putting an end to the emergency food hampers to the Calgary’s most vulnerable get it.”

To date Broxburn Vegetables has raised more than $14,000 for the Calgary Food Bank.

“Anytime you can have an opportunity to give back to the community, that means a lot to the collective which is the Crossroads market,” said Nicole Schon, general manager for the Crossroads Market.

Quality produce for those in need makes a difference

Schon said that their efforts have had a tangible impact, as evidenced by a 20-year relationship between the market and the food bank.

“I think that if you were to talk to the food bank… you’ll find that having fresh fruits and vegetables is actually a lot more difficult to attain and to divvy out to people in need,” she said.

“Having that constant flux of the fresh fruit and vegetables coming from the Crossroads to the food bank is is paramount to their success.”

Kaiser said that the fresh produce has meant better quality hampers for those in need.

“We all know what it’s like at this time of year to get that you know fresh carrot out of the garden or that delicious apple that’s come from B.C.. It is just a little bit sweeter, it’s a little bit better, it’s a bit more tasty,” she said.

“For people that are struggling to make ends meet for people that are in a position that they need to access the Calgary Food Bank… everybody deserves healthy, fresh, delicious food, no matter what your circumstances are. Without the partnerships like this, we would not be able to make that happen.”

Money raised is more than tripled in outcomes

The money raised from both Broxburn Vegetables and the public, said Kaiser, also goes a long way towards providing that food security—every $1 raised turns into $3.50 worth of food.

“We will put that money to very good us. You have to remember that the food needs to be transported in refrigerated trucks needs to be stored. We have freezers we have to run. We got to have gas in those trucks. There’s a lot of expenses to making sure that we are feeding thousands of people every week,” she said.

Kaiser said that for folks who weren’t able to make a cash donation to the food bank, volunteering was also something needed by the organization. It takes more than 800 volunteers a week to serve Calgarians in need, she said.

Schon said that another way to give back would be just to shop on Sunday at Broxburn Vegetables.

“I think that people are always looking for an opportunity to give back, and it’s really difficult to to do that. Simple purchases on Sunday through the Broxburn specifically is like a really easy fast way,” she said.

“It’s like a give to get. You’re giving your money and getting vegetables, but giving essentially to the food bank all in one fell swoop, which is really beneficial.”