Basic Needs Round-Up

Date: September 7 – 17
Big Collection Day: Tuesday, September 17 at United Way’s Kickoff Event!

The affordability crisis in our city means that people are struggling to afford basic needs, such as food, hygiene products, transportation and more. The Basic Needs Round-Up is a city-wide initiative to help ensure local people have access to the resources they need to get out of poverty and thrive.

We are asking workplaces and individuals to collect the items from the list below during the week of September 7-16, and bring them to our Kickoff event at Stampede Park on September 17! In partnership with Women in Needs Society (WINS) and other community partners, we will gather it all to then distribute to people in need.

Collection Items:

  • Gift cards: Grocery and food stores. (Please indicate VALUE on the card)

Ø Important note: We are kindly asking individuals to donate gift cards to food and grocery stores in lieu of individual food items. This provides some choice and dignity to gift card recipients, who can then choose what they want to buy, access fresher and more nutritious food, and shop in alignment with their dietary needs.

  • Transportation: Calgary Transit tickets.
  • Personal hygiene items: Shampoo and conditioner, soap, body wash, deodorant, moisturizers, sunscreen, menstrual supplies, condoms, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrushes, lip balm. (Please exclude razors, mouthwash, and ANY open, used or expired products.)
  • Baby supplies: Diapers, disposable wipes, baby shampoo, baby bottles, bibs, baby ointment/creams, onesies, blankets, formula (please check expiry dates)
  • Prepaid SIM cards
  • Passes to family-friendly activities: Calgary Zoo, TELUS Spark Science Centre, Heritage Park, Calaway Park, Studio Bell, local museums, etc.
  • NEW socks, underwear, mittens and toques


  • Razors
  • Mouthwash
  • ANY used, open or expired personal hygiene or baby items
  • Food items
  • Torn or stained clothing items
Elijah BeaverBasic Needs Round-Up