Feed Ontario, the organization representing food banks across the province, is extremely grateful to hear that Food Banks Canada was selected to disseminate quality surplus food throughout their established, national distribution system, in partnership with the food banking network across Canada. Thanks to their existing cold chain capacity, retail food reclamation programs and National Food Sharing System, they are well positioned to effectively deliver food in a safe and timely manner from coast to coast to coast. In Ontario, we are well positioned to support this effort through our province-wide network of 1,200 direct and affiliate food banks and hunger-relief agencies.
Since 2010, as a system, Food Banks Canada has sourced and shared almost 1.5 billion pounds of food and has shared over $100 million in funding to help maximize collective impact and strengthen local capacity of food banks, all while advocating to address the systemic issues related to poverty and ultimately reducing the need for food banks.
As Food Banks Canada’s provincial counterpart for Ontario, Feed Ontario supports this work by coordinating food distribution across the province, as well as securing and distributing an additional five million pounds of fresh and non-perishable food annually. Feed Ontario also works to advocate for long term solutions to hunger and poverty.
“On behalf of Feed Ontario and the provincial food bank network, I would like to thank the Government of Canada for this incredible investment,” says Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director, Feed Ontario. “This support will go a long way into helping our network provide emergency food support to the half million adults and children who visit our services over three million times throughout the year.”
Prior to Covid-19, and in addition to its food reclamation program, the food banking network purchased over $30 million of fresh food such as produce, meat, dairy and core staples to round out the offerings of food banks. In fact, more than 40% of the food offered by food banks is fresh. With thanks to the generosity of Canadians, corporate donors and the Federal Government, food banks are significantly increasing the amount of perishable foods with clients.
Food bank warehouse hubs exist in every province to safely receive, store, and distribute product throughout the food bank system. Each hub includes dry, refrigerated, and frozen storage.
From Securing fresh and healthy food sources, to driving change through policy research and innovative programming, Feed Ontario unites food banks, industry partners, and local communities in our work to end hunger and poverty.
For 40 years, food banks have been dedicated to helping Canadians living with food insecurity. Over 3,000 food banks and community agencies come together to serve our most vulnerable neighbours who – last year – made 1.1 million visits to these organizations in one month alone, according to Food Banks Canada’s annual HungerCount report.