Baking bread and ingredients

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events

See below for more details!

Future event details will be added as they are available.

March 21, 2023

Panel Discussion


YYC Food Collaborative 

empty white dinner plate surrounded by fresh whole vegetables

Event includes speakers from the Calgary Food Bank, Rise Calgary, Leftovers Foundation, and Vibrant Communities Calgary (formerly).

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

YYC Food Collaborative Panel


Tuesday, March 21, 2023 from 11:00-12:30 (MDT). 


Panel Discussion (Zoom)

The YYC Food Collaborative is made up of individuals and/or organizations, food related services providers, community advocates and systems leaders working on food insecurity in the Calgary region. The collaborative was established during the COVID-19 pandemic and members work collectively on actions to improve immediate food needs with dignity and address root causes of food insecurity. In this discussion panel, members of the YYC Food Collaborative will share thoughts on their experiences working in the sector and the challenges and needs faced. Topics and themes will include motivational factors for joining the Collaborative, organizational barriers, advocacy work, collaboration and potential linkages between research and the food insecurity sector.


Jessica Gergely has worked for Rise Calgary for two years as an advocate for poverty reduction. Her day-to-day tasks include supporting low income Calgarians to access basic needs resources such as the Calgary Food Bank and other local food security organizations. Within the scarcity to strength model Jessica works with individuals and families in their journey to create stability and lead to the path of empowerment. During her experience working the frontlines, Jessica has also taken her previous career as a journalist to help tell the story of Rise Calgary Resource Centres and the stories of the people Rise supports, through community engagement and collaboration with other organizations. Jessica is here today to represent the people Rise Calgary supports, to tell their stories and the trends that have recently surfaced in the industry.

Michelle Vetland has a background of frontline work and volunteer experience in group homes and supporting those impacted by sexual and domestic violence. She has shifted her focus from intervention and crisis-based support to focus on preventative measures in the realm of food insecurity. Michelle is now part of the Community Liaison Team at the Calgary Food Bank, working to further collaborations with community organizations to address the root causes of food insecurity. She holds a Bachelor of Child Studies with a major in Child and Youth Care Counselling.

Cory Rianson has worked in leading organizations focused on reducing food insecurity for the last six years. This includes managing a food bank where he grew the organization from a community food bank to a food security hub that delivers a wide range of programming focused on reducing food insecurity, as well as running the Leftovers Foundation. His goal is to take Leftovers even further in its goal of food rescue, to rescue more and different types of food. Why should good food be rotting in a landfill and emitting greenhouse gases, when it can go to those who need it? Good food should not go to waste!

Franco Savoia retired as Executive Director of Vibrant Communities Calgary in September 2019. Vibrant Communities has been gifted the opportunity to guide Enough for All, Calgary’s Poverty Reduction strategy. Continuing to serve as a volunteer, he chairs the Alberta Living Wage Network Council; provides staff leadership to the Alberta Poverty Reduction Network; and as a Rotarian, chairs the Food Security Committee. He was the president and CEO of the Edmonton YMCA from 2000 to 2012. From 2009—2012 he also served as CEO of the Wood Buffalo YMCA. He retired in December 2012 after a 43-year career in the YMCA that began in 1969 at the Greater Toronto YMCA. Franco has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Windsor and a Masters of Divinity from the Toronto School of Theology in Toronto. In 2002, he completed a Master of Management from McGill University in the McGill/McConnell Program for Voluntary Sector Leaders. He has been a Rotarian for 25 years in three different clubs. He has two adult children and two grand children. He is an active member of St. Peter’s Church community. Committed to his own health, he begins each day with a workout.

Four brown chickens standing on green ground near a fence

2023 Events


Winter 2023.


Lectures, panels, field trips and other events to be announced. 

Please return to this page for details on upcoming events for the Food Studies Interdisciplinary Research Groups 2022/2023 season.