Giving what’s needed most

November 28, 2013

Bruce Street, President of the Crowsnest Pass Food Bank, accepts a donation of beef to the Crowsnest Pass Food Bank from  Dr. Kristy Penner (centre) and Dr. Allan Garbutt (right)


Crowsnest Pass physician (and 2013-14 AMA President) Dr. Allan S. Garbutt helps fight hunger this holiday season with a donation to his local food bank.

I’m happy to be able to do it, but in a perfect world we’d have enough employment for everyone and this wouldn’t even be necessary.

Beef is rarely on people’s Christmas gift lists – unless that list belongs to a small town food bank that understands how hunger can cast a shadow over the festive season.

That’s why when Dr. Allan S. Garbutt (a Crowsnest Pass family physician and the current AMA president) was approached by his local food bank and asked to replicate a donation of beef he made earlier this year, he was quick to accept the challenge.

"They actually contacted me this time," he explains. "And since I’d done it before, it was easy."

He quickly organized donations from physicians in his clinic (Dr. Kristy Penner, Dr. Ian Hurdle, Dr. Jennifer Coppens and Dr. Colin Muscat) and approached Back Country Butchering, who coordinated the processing last time. "They were really great and got it done fast."

In total, Dr. Garbutt and his colleagues were able to donate $500 of beef to their local food bank on November 27.

"It’s hunting season, so Backcountry is swamped and we had to get it to the food bank as soon as it was ready."

Fortunately, the food bank was able to pick up the donation and now has beef to add to the food hampers clients will receive in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

For Dr. Garbutt, the chance to support the people in his community through a donation like this is bittersweet.

"I’m happy to be able to do it, but in a perfect world we’d have enough employment for everyone and this wouldn’t even be necessary."

Until that time, he encourages other physicians to consider following his lead. "It’s an easy thing to do that has a big impact on the people who need it."

He’s even happy to walk physicians who’d like to make a similar donation this holiday season through the process. "Just email me and I’ll tell you exactly how to make it happen."

More information about this initiative

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.