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Nourishing young bodies and minds

Through the Calgary Reads Book Bank, Calgary Reads and the Calgary Food Bank are providing much-needed literacy support to low-income families by giving them free books along with their food hampers. “We know that reading is important but clients who can’t afford food are probably not prioritizing books,” says Dmitri Passaita, Services Manager at the Calgary Food Bank.

Since it started in April 2015, the Book Bank has donated 16,282 books and provided 2,494 literacy tips to Calgary families.

“We know that reading is important but clients who can’t afford food are probably not prioritizing books.”

Dmitri Passaita, Services Manager, Calgary Food Bank

Many Food Bank clients are grateful for support to help develop their children’s love of reading and are eager to share the joy of reading with other families. One Food Bank client recently offered to donate the books she had received from the Book Bank so they could benefit other children. Her kids had outgrown the books and she wanted to give others the chance to enjoy them.

The Book Bank partnership serves the missions of both organizations. Calgary Reads can ensure that children of Food Bank families have access to free, age-appropriate books and the Calgary Food Bank sees the partnership as a way to address one of the root causes of hunger – poor literacy and lack of education.
“It’s no secret that better education allows individuals to get better skills and paid jobs, so starting early definitely helps. Reading is a big part of it and developing those habits is helping us to achieve our mission,” says Dmitri.

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