Downtown office workers traded their briefcases for garden spades to break ground for the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank yesterday.

A four-plot vegetable garden has been planted on the Standard Life Plus-15 link. All harvested produce will go to help feed Calgarians in need.

Inspired by the urban garden planted last year on Barclay parade, Gabby Franco, asset manager for Western Canada Standard Life, approached the building’s tenants to volunteer to get their hands dirty.

“I thought it’s a better use of space then just having flowers,” he said.

Although produce from the garden wouldn’t meet the need of one day’s demand at the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank, said Paul Hughes, chair of the Calgary Food Policy Council, it’s a start.

“It’s a very symbolic garden,” he said. “It really can be done in a very dense urban environment.

“This garden is meant to set the pace for other corporations to apply the same approach.”

Despite some concerns of vandalism or theft, Calgarians have treated the 3rd Street urban garden with respect, said garden co-founder Janet Jessiman.

“There’s even less cigarette butts in that area now,” said Jessiman.