Partnership with I Can For Kids supports thousands of kids!
Partnership between CHC and I Can For Kids helps to distribute almost $200,000 in grocery cards to help thousands of kids and families at CHC managed properties this summer.
Building partnerships with community agencies, programs and advocates has been a primary strategy for Calgary Housing Company as it seeks to continuously improve service for the people it serves.
For the past six years, CHC has worked with I Can For Kids, whose mission is to help children access food throughout the summer when they may not have access to other food security programs. The partnership is a natural fit given I Can For Kids philosophy of “supporting kids where they live and play”.
I Can For Kids works with CHC and other support agencies in the community to deliver food packs and fresh fruit to help supplement children’s daily food needs throughout the summer months. In the in summer 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced I Can For Kids to change how this service was delivered, shifting their focus from snack packs to grocery cards.
With the help of CHC’s Tenant Liaison team, almost $200,000 in grocery cards were distributed between April and August 2020 on behalf of I Can For Kids, helping thousands of children and families at CHC-managed properties. This accounts for more than a third of the over $550,000 in grocery cards distributed by I Can For Kids over the summer. Additionally, another $108,000 in grocery cards are being distributed in the community right now, $37,000 of which will go to CHC tenants.
- I Can For Kids Wesbite
- I Can For Kids 2019 Impact Report
- LEGO recognizes I Can For Kids for community work in Calgary as part of international campaign
How Tenants Access Grocery Cards
Calgary Housing Company connects with families in need in a variety of ways. The most common way CHC staff connected families to the I Can For Kids grocery card program is through the eviction prevention program.
Tenant Liaison’s often identify the need for food supports during rental arrears assessments, as families that are in arrears are often short on food – having to make the choice between paying rent and feeding their kids. Need is also identified by Tenant Liaisons when responding to support calls or doing home visits, as well as through program partners. Tenant Liaisons also connect with tenants in need of food supports at events like winter clothing drives, or when tenants reach out directly for support.
Tenants in need of support can call their Tenant Liaison or call the CHC Customer Service Line at (587) 390-1200.
More about our partnership
The partnership between CHC and I Can For Kids began over five years ago when CHC Tenant Liaisons and I Can For Kids sat down together to determine how they could work together most effectively. That strategic approach has continued ever since.
“CHC has been an important partner in helping to develop our programming.” says Bobbi Turko, executive director of I Can for Kids. “The program from 2015 to today looks very different because of the constant evolution that comes with communication and feedback.”
Staff at both organizations stay in contact all year, gathering information in the spring, delivering services in the summer, and following-up with clients and each other in the fall. “The most important thing is to always be talking to each other and our partners and involving them in our planning.” Bobbi says.
Hunger Facts from the ‘I Can For Kids’ Impact Report
I Can For Kids works to support children and families in need.
- 1 in 5 Calgarians worry about not having enough money for food
- Nearly 17% of children in Alberta live with food insecurity
- More than 5,000 kids in Calgary rely on school food programs during the school year
- Most kids who benefit from school food programs do not have the same access to a free meal during the summer
- Food insecure children are more likely to experience the mental health issues, poor academic performance, and chronic health issues
Other I Can For Kids Partners
Aspen Family & Community Network Society
BowWest Community Resource Centre
Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary
Calgary John Howard Society
Calgary Police Service
Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter
Catholic Family Service
Centre for Newcomers
City of Calgary – Neighborhoods
Closer to Home
Community Kitchen Program of Calgary
Cornerstone Youth Centre
Deer Park United Church
Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary
Hull Services – Patch Program
Metis Calgary Family Services
Oak Park Church of Christ
SE Calgary Community Resource Centre
Soccer Without Boundaries
SouthWest Communities Resource Centre
The Alex Youth Health Centre
The Brenda Strafford Centre
Thornhill Child Care
Women In Need Society
Wood’s Homes – EXIT Outreach
Youth Centres of Calgary
I Can For Kids 2019 Highlights
This graphic from the I Can For Kids 2019 Impact Report illustrates the need and impact in the as of 2019.