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 Brief History of Chalmers 

From a food program run by a small group of volunteers to a large city-scale operation serving thousands of guests, Chalmers has had a strong history of serving people of Guelph.



A small group of dedicated Chalmers United Church volunteers opened a small food pantry called the Fair Share Food Shelf, serving non-perishable items. They realized that there were people living in Guelph who did not have enough food. This pantry served a mainly single male population.


 Chalmers Community Services Centre became a registered charity with it's own corporate entity. This was a critical time for Chalmers as in the previous year, Chalmers United Church was sold to the Royal City Mission. The vision was to offer services to guests without judgement in an inclusive, welcoming environment. We opted to not use means testing, which continues to be our philosophy.



Chalmers opened a downtown location located at 40 Baker Street. By this point Chalmers had begun serving food to guests every two weeks due to rising food costs and record number of guests. It was in the same year that Chalmers West, a portable at Three Willows United Church, was established to serve guests in the west end of Guelph.


After discussions with the community, Chalmers changed it's food distribution model to now serve families and children, where previously the focus was on individuals.

Chalmers Photos (16 of 155) (1).jpg


Chalmers officially moved into 41 Macdonell St, the former Acker Furniture Building.


Chalmers operated through the Covid-19 pandemic. Guests were served pre-packed bags of food and personal items, which was done at the door by masked volunteers. Later in the year, the doors opened and guests were welcomed one at a time into the food bank.


The Present Day

Chalmers continues to serve Guelphites, offering a variety of programs and services.


Our organization operates with a small but dedicated professional team and many long-term and new volunteers.


Throughout the year, Chalmers coordinates events to connect with guests, donors, and the broader community.

Food insecurity dramatically increased since the Covid pandemic and every means of support is invaluable to our organization!

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