Make the Season Kind: Annual coffee sale raises more than $10K for the Calgary Food Bank

Calgarians began to line up just after 5 a.m. Friday for the annual Make the Season Kind coffee sale.  (CBC - image credit)
Calgarians began to line up just after 5 a.m. Friday for the annual Make the Season Kind coffee sale. (CBC - image credit)

Alarm clocks went off earlier than usual for many Calgarians on Friday morning. The promise of coffee for a good cause brought dozens to Fratello Coffee Roasters in the city's southeast for the start of CBC Calgary's annual holiday fundraiser.

The Make the Season Kind campaign runs every December in support of the Calgary Food Bank.

People lined up just after 5 a.m. to buy a bag of One Knight Only coffee — named after Calgary Eyeopener traffic and weather reporter Angela Knight — and a limited edition CBC mug, featuring Knight's favourite things about the Calgary, for $20.

"I'm so glad we got our coffee. We were nervous when we were driving over," said Elizabeth Campbell, who hasn't missed a December coffee sale since they started 11 years ago.

All of the proceeds from the event go to the food bank. Supplies sold out in an hour and a half, raising $10,515.

"I'm just proud to be part of it," said Russ Prefontaine, owner of Fratello Coffee Roasters, which donated the coffee for the sale. "Seeing everyone lined up, the parking lot full, enjoying coffee this morning. I'm smiling, it's great."

Throughout the morning, Calgarians continued to brave the cold to get their goodies.

Many bought the maximum four bags, saying the event marked the start of the Christmas season for them. Although some will be saving the coffee for themselves, others noted they'd be sharing their spoils as Christmas presents.


Events will continue throughout the month in support of the food bank.

"We are seeing increasing needs. Our numbers over last year are between seven and 10 per cent higher," said Michael Pasma, interim president of the Calgary Food Bank, in an interview on the Calgary Eyeopener.

"We need the community here to support us, and the community does support us."

A silent auction launched Friday as part of the campaign. You can also win a prize pack by sharing your story of how you're making the season kind.


Non-perishable food donations can be made at the Parkdale Community Association in the city's northwest. They're looking for cereal, pasta, peanut butter, canned vegetables, canned chicken or turkey, nut-free granola bars and baby food pouches.

If you'd like a chance at getting your own bag of One Knight Only coffee, the next pop-up sale will be at Bro'Kin Yolk in the Mahogany neighbourhood at 7 a.m. on Dec. 6.

"I think it's really good. We've changed the roast profile and went a little bit more of a medium roast this time, and it's got these warming notes to it," said Prefontaine.

"You smell it, it's dark chocolate, smooth notes, it's got a mild smoky aftertaste."


Certain items bought at participating bakeries also go toward the cause.

The Homestretch will be hosting a special show from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Ironwood Stage & Grill on Dec. 8, its first live event in two years, with musical performances from The Hello Darlins, Terez, Zenon and Kyle McKearney.

The goal is to reach $1 million in donations by the end of the month.

"I'm confident that Calgary will come through once again for the food bank," said Pasma.

For all the details about this year's campaign and a list of upcoming events, please visit