The Airdrie Food Bank is unique in Canada, which is leading it to receive national exposure this week.  

On Tuesday afternoon, the local food bank will welcome about 90 delegates from the bi-annual national conference of Food Banks Canada to tour the facility and look at some of Airdrie's practices.

Lori McRitchie, the Executive Director of the Airdrie Food Bank said it's a pretty big deal for the food bank and the city.  

"There will be people from all over Canada, including representatives from Food Banks Canada. The mayor is going to be here, our MLA and MP are all going to be here."

The Food Banks Canada conference is being held in Calgary from today (June 19) through June 22nd.  The theme this year is, "Taking The Reins: Ideas to Action." It's a conference where food banks from across the country get together to share ideas, network and share best practices for food banking. That's where the Airdrie Food Bank comes in.

"We built this food bank.  We raised $1.5 million within a couple of years with the help of the community and it's the only custom built food bank in Canada.  They're coming to see our facility and how we do things.  We have a Community Kitchen on site where we teach cooking classes, we have a food recovery program that feeds 800 people a month and our hamper program feeds about 250 families a month.  We run school kid programs and we have about 260 regular volunteers so we're doing lots of things and are pretty well organized."

McRitchie said it's great to see how others are doing things and take some of the ideas back to your community, which is what the Canadian delegates will do with their tour of the Airdrie Food Bank.

Airdrie has become nationally known for being a leader in food banking.  At this year's conference, that leadership will be recognized, according to McRitchie.  

"We've been nominated for a national award that will be presented on Wednesday evening.  The award is the Excellence In Food Banking Award."

The delegates will be touring the food bank in groups between 1:30 and 4:00 pm Tuesday afternoon.  


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