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Because hunger doesn't wait for policy change.





Wolverine and Multiple Man race to fight hunger

On October 20, look out for Wolverine (Logan) and Multiple Man (Madrox) at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Two members of The X-Men of Toronto, they are running in support of Daily Bread’s Lace Up for Hunger team.

Logan and Madrox. Photo credit Laura Nemeth.

Logan and Madrox. Photo credit Laura Nemeth.

The X-Men of Toronto is a non-profit organization made up of X-men-themed cosplayers. Founded in early 2013, they help raise funds for various charities and encourage the younger generation to give back to the community.

The X-Men of Toronto support a number of great charities throughout the year. Running a food drive in support of Daily Bread earlier this year, Logan said that they chose Daily Bread Food Bank because of its “history as a charity that gives back to the community, something we aspire to do as well.”

“We normally pick charities that are not on everyone’s radar. But I chose the Daily Bread Food Bank for our food drive last June because I wanted to help a charity that was near my neighbourhood. But it really hit me when I came by the food bank to drop off the donations. Just interacting with the amazing helpful staff and volunteers, and seeing the all different people who depend on this organization, especially families. I was really touched at that visit. So I’m extremely thrilled that they invited us to run for them!”

To train for their first charity 5k, Madrox has been running on a treadmill two to three times a week during the weekdays and jogging outside once or twice on the weekends. Logan is used to playing sports but says he has never been much of a runner. He’s managed to fit in a few practice runs and is looking forward to being ready for October 20.

wolverinemadrox photo credit Quincy Morrison

Wolverine (Logan) and Multiple Man (Madrox). Photo credit Quincy Morrison.

While most of us will be wearing one of Daily Bread’s amazing team shirts both Madrox and Logan will be upping the ante and running in costume!

“Usually, I’d have three of my multiples strapped to my back, but I think I’m just gonna carry one in the race so I can be less wind-resistant. And I’ll switch my boots to comfortable running shoes. But you’ll still catch me in spandex,” said Madrox.

Logan said that he didn’t think racing as Wolverine would be too hard. “The costume I intend to wear is mostly spandex so it will stretch a lot. That being said, however, I won’t be wearing my normal knee-high boots. Those would be a bit too hefty unfortunately, so I’ll be wearing comfortable running-shoes instead.”

When asked what they were most looking forward to on race day, here’s what they had to say!

“I’m looking forward to seeing a crowd of supporters cheering the runners on. I’m hoping their cheerleading will help with my endurance. One thing I’m not looking forward to is running in a thunderstorm. But hey, we once did a food drive in High Park through rain and hail, so that won’t stop me.” – Madrox

“I’m looking forward to people realizing that if a couple of nerds like ourselves can do this for charity, so can they, so they should lace up their boots and come help their community too. Least looking forward too… spandex wedgie.” – Logan

Click here to support Madrox’s run for Daily Bread!

Click here to support Logan’s run for Daily Bread!

It’s not too late to sign up to run in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Register to race and raise money for Daily Bread. Click here for more information.

Date Added: September 27, 2013 | Filed under: Blog, Fundraising Events, News, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon — Tags: , , , , , , , — Anderson @ 10:18 am

Daily Bread Food Bank announces its 2013 “Best in Class” awards

Five companies have been recognized as corporate leaders in the fight against hunger for their contribution to Daily Bread Food Bank.  Daily Bread’s “Best in Class” awards acknowledge the countless valuable contributions of corporate leaders.

“Daily Bread relies on corporations who believe that giving back is not just a business practice, but a way of life. They help us to provide food and resources for so many people in need,” says Gail Nyberg, Executive Director.  “Our “Best in Class” award winners are transforming what ‘citizenship’ and ‘community’ mean to their employees and the communities they work in.  These corporations are giving them opportunities through the workplace to become engaged in issues relating to hunger, as well as giving them and their families the opportunity to get involved and make a real difference.”

Daily Bread Food Bank, with its member network of 170 community organizations across Toronto, is essential to ensuring people don’t go hungry in Toronto.  Yet the organization’s core operations are entirely dependent on private sector donations, receiving no United Way funding and almost no government funding.

The five businesses receiving the awards all demonstrate a commitment to community with their support for Daily Bread.  The 2013 award winners are:

Microsoft Canada received the Achiever Award for significantly increasing its support, including volunteer support, over previous years.

From l to r: Anne Kothawala (Chair, Board of Directors), Lisa Lyons (President of Corus Entertainment's Kids Can Press), Magda Krpan (Director, Communications, Radio and Special Events at Corus Entertainment), Gail Nyberg (Executive Director, Daily Bread).

Champion Award – Corus EntertainmentAnne Kothawala (Chair, Board of Directors), Lisa Lyons (President of Corus Entertainment’s Kids Can Press), Magda Krpan (Director, Communications, Radio and Special Events at Corus Entertainment), Gail Nyberg (Executive Director, Daily Bread). 


Corus Entertainment received the Champion Award in recognition of its role as a leading donor and fundraiser for its national Corus Feeds Kids campaign.  Corus has supported Daily Bread for 15 years and donated and raised more than $200,000 in funds and food. In 2012 Corus also provided 900 hours of volunteer labour in our warehouse and hosted our annual fundraising event, Ultimate Food Challenge.








From l to r: Anne Kothawala (Chair, Daily Bread's Board of Directors), Brian Collins (Manager, of Corporate Sponsorship, Purolator Canada), Gail Nyberg (Executive Director, Daily Bread).

Change Maker Award – Purolator CanadaAnne Kothawala (Chair, Daily Bread’s Board of Directors), Brian Collins (Manager, of Corporate Sponsorship, Purolator Canada), Gail Nyberg (Executive Director, Daily Bread). 


Purolator received the Change Maker Award for its program “Tackle Hunger” which raises funds and food,and spreads awareness on the issue of hunger across the country.  A supporter for more than a decade, Purolator has raised close to $300,000 in cash and food donations for Daily Bread.








Leader Award - Gambles Ontario

Leader Award – Gambles Ontario ProduceGail Nyberg (Executive Director, Daily Bread), Sarah Burroughsford (Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Gambles Ontario Produce), Al Shulman (Vice Chair, Daily Bread’s Board of Directors). 


Gambles Produce received the Leader Award for its outstanding donation of in-kind (food) over the past three years. The company has been one of Daily Bread’s top ten food donors for many years and its infusion of healthy fresh produce into our hampers and meals is most appreciated.









Anne Kothawala (Chair, Daily Bread's Board of Directors), Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread's Executive Director) and Tim Schnare (Chair of Cisco Canada's Canadian Civic Council).

Corporate Volunteer Group Award – Cisco CanadaAnne Kothawala (Chair, Daily Bread’s Board of Directors), Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread’s Executive Director) and Tim Schnare (Chair of Cisco Canada’s Canadian Civic Council). 



Cisco Canada received the Corporate Volunteer Group Award for leadership in volunteer contributions. Last year Cisco Canada contributed the equivalent of a full-time warehouse worker for half the year.  More than 200 Cisco Canada employees and their families stuffed 12,000 Santa Hampers in just two days to give out to families across the GTA during the holidays.






For more photos of the Best in Class Awards, please click here.


Date Added: September 26, 2013 | Filed under: Blog, Events, News — Tags: , , , , , , , — Anderson @ 11:13 am

How Daily Bread donors helped me get back on my feet


Phillip’s inspiring story

My whole life changed in 16 weeks I agree it sounds like an exaggeration. But it isn’t. Let me tell you my story about how Daily Bread, and people like you, gave me the chance to turn my life around in just four months.

My name is Phillip. I came to Canada from Jamaica three years ago in search of a better life. I was nervous but determined to help my family back home and make a better life for myself.

I had no idea how difficult work would be to find. I took any job I could get, often patching together part-time work. To keep a roof over my head, I lived with six other people – all of us squished into a two-bedroom apartment!

I was so scared that I would end up jobless and homeless. I finally overcame my pride and applied for social assistance. But I knew it wasn’t a long-term solution. I was starting to lose hope and despite working so hard, I wasn’t getting anywhere.

And then I heard about Daily Bread’s Food Services Training program – a program funded entirely by donations.

I had always loved cooking at home. So nervously I applied. I didn’t know what to expect. Imagine my surprise when I got an interview!

I’d always wondered why anyone would want to go or eat at a food bank. But that changed once I arrived for my interview. The staff was friendly and clearly cared about the trainees. I learned how the program would give me hands-on experience in the kitchen and get me ready for a competitive workforce. I was invited to stay for lunch and was surprised by how healthy and delicious my meal was.

I learned that this program allows for trainees to work with chef instructors for 16 weeks, learning food preparation skills to help them get back into the workforce. They cook and prepare thousands of nutritious meals every month that are sent out to meal programs, hostels and shelters across Toronto. I had no idea a food bank had this type of program!

When I was accepted to the program, I was over the moon. For the first time since arriving in Canada, I felt real hope for my future.

My days in the kitchen started early. I helped prepare both hot and cold portions of the meal, as well as the soups and casseroles that get delivered to member agencies each day. During my 16 weeks, I learned valuable kitchen skills to use in food services. But even more importantly, I learned to be strong, confident, and to overcome any barriers in my way.

I’m proud to report that today I work as an Assistant Instructor myself in the Daily Bread kitchen, teaching new trainees the skills and the confidence they need to reach their goals.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to be part of the organization that helped me get back on my feet.  With this program, people who have barriers to employment can come, learn, and walk away with the tools they need to succeed.

This is what is so wonderful about Daily Bread. They are truly more than just a food bank – they are a lifeline in the community. They provide so many resources, from helping with housing and employment to providing meals and one-on-one support.

I am finally able to give back to my community and this country that welcomed me and gave me a chance at a bright future. I count myself as one of the lucky ones.

Date Added: September 25, 2013 | Filed under: Blog — Jessica @ 3:56 pm

How to talk to your kids about hunger and poverty

We’ve received a lot of questions from parents asking advice about how to talk to their kids about hunger and poverty.

051When children see examples of poverty in their community, it often brings up challenging questions for parents to try and answer. It can be very difficult to understand some of the complex issues that surround hunger and poverty, not just for kids, but adults too. Here are some tips that will allow you to have an effective and positive conversation about these topics at home.

Talk openly and honestly 

This communicates the message that being in need is not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. This can allow you to ensure questions are answered, proper terminology is used and misconceptions are explained.

Make it personal

Many of us don’t realize that our peers, co-workers, friends and family may be using a food bank. There could be classmates, friends or other children in their faith groups, sports teams and other extracurricular activities that need help. Explaining this to your children might make them relate to the issue more effectively. Examples of family and friends who may have fallen on hard times and relied on the support of others is a good place to start. It is a good idea to point out ways that people in their community who may look or seem to live differently are in fact quite similar.

Encourage compassion AND action

Encourage your children to see themselves in a hungry person’s shoes, and how that would make them feel. Then ask them what they want to do to help. Giving your children an opportunity to make a difference inspires self-confidence, tolerance, patience and empathy. Children very quickly learn how to be a leader and gain a new perspective on the world around them.


Want to run a food or fund drive for Daily Bread? Email for more information on how to get started.

Interested in our youth program or volunteering opportunities for youth who are grade 6 and up? Email Tira Campbell at for more information.

We’ve released our newest Who’s Hungry report! Click here to learn more about about hunger and poverty in Toronto.


Date Added: September 24, 2013 | Filed under: Blog, Fundraising Events, News, Youth Program — Anderson @ 4:00 pm

Thanksgiving Drive launches tomorrow

Daily Bread Food Bank is launching its annual Thanksgiving Drive with a new report on hunger in the GTA. Daily Bread is looking to raise $300,000 and 200,000 pounds of food by October 19.

Tomorrow in Daily Bread’s kitchen at 10 a.m., Executive Director Gail Nyberg will talk about why it’s so important to donate after a difficult summer where donations fell.

Richard Matern will also be there to share more results from the Who’s Hungry: A Tale of Three Cities report about what the face of hunger looks like today, where hunger is moving in the GTA, and how families are managing with limited incomes and empty fridges.

Check back on September 24 to download your own copy of the Who’s Hungry report and find out more about how hunger is affecting your neighbourhood.

Date Added: September 23, 2013 | Filed under: Blog, News, Research, Thanksgiving Drive — Tags: , , , , , — Anderson @ 1:47 pm

Lace Up for Hunger: Look good on race day

So you’ve registered for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and you’ve either joined the super fabulous Daily Bread Food Bank Lace Up for Hunger team, or you’re fundraising for Daily Bread (congratulations by the way, those are both very good things to do!).

You’ve trained for months to run or walk a 5k, half marathon, or marathon, putting in hours of work and, often, a little bit of pain.

Then on race day, October 20th, you line up at the start line on University Avenue and look around. There are 25,000 people, all in that same pre-race nervous stretching, iPod fiddling, GPS watch adjusting, shoelace-tightening mode, getting-ready-for-the-starters gun. And they’re almost all wearing red!

Lace Up for Hunger team technical shirts.

Lace Up for Hunger team technical shirts.

Now, I have nothing against the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront technical t-shirts that we’ll all get in our race packages. They’re great shirts, and I’m always proud to wear mine after the event to show off that I accomplished such an audacious goal of running a long race.

But when you’re running the race of your life, at that moment when you are feeling physically exhausted, not sure whether you can make it to the end, do you want your friends and family to immediately see you to give that cheer that pushes you on to the finish? Or do you want to blend in with all the other red-shirted runners and run right by them, having them miss you entirely as you stagger to the finish line?

Of course you don’t want that.

Daily Bread came up with a perfect solution: a team technical shirt in a colour that will truly stand out from all the red around you: green! And not just any green, a rich, emerald green which Pantone calls “a lively, radiant, lush green, the Color of the Year for 2013.” So you know that not only will you stand out against the crowd and be assured of the cheers you will need to finish the STWM with a personal best, you’ll also be stylin’ on the course.

Getting the Daily Bread Lace Up for Hunger shirt is easy. All you have to do is fundraise $250.  Not only will you receive a shirt, you may have race fees reimbursed if you are one Daily Bread’s top 10 individual fundraisers by 4:00 on Friday, September 20. It’s not a lot of time, but there is STILL TIME. Especially with the help of this handy tip sheet “How to raise $500 in one week.”

Best of luck! Let’s get those donations up!

Date Added: September 18, 2013 | Filed under: Blog, Fundraising Events, News, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon — Tags: , , , — Anderson @ 11:20 am

Volunteer to hand out food drive bags!

You can make an incredible difference! Help Daily Bread ensure that no one is left hungry. Will you help?

Please consider joining our Thanksgiving Drive by volunteering to hand out food drive bags at one of our participating grocery stores. This is an easy and rewarding way to help many families in our communities – even in your own neighbourhood – to get the food they need. By handing out bags, you are giving individuals the opportunity to fill each bag with nutritious non-perishable food which can be donated and dropped off in bins located inside each store.

Click the links below to book your shift at a specific grocery store.  Shifts are from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., or 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on two weekends, October 5 and 6 as well as Thanksgiving weekend on October 12 and 13.

Please note, anyone under the age of 16 years old must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Loblaws @ 396 St. Clair Ave W

Loblaws @ 2280 Dundas Ave W 

Loblaws @ 380 The East Mall

Loblaws @ 50 Musgrave Street

Date Added: September 13, 2013 | Filed under: Blog, News, Thanksgiving Drive, Volunteer, Volunteer Opportunities — Anita @ 9:58 am

Lace Up For Hunger: Half Way There!

When I made the decision to run my first marathon, I didn’t intend to just finish. I want to run at least reasonably fast too. Also having once been destroyed by a 30k, I wasn’t going to underestimate the marathon distance.

So I took on a pretty difficult training plan, running a solid five times a week at a range of speeds and distances plus one night of playing soccer.

Now that I’m just past the halfway point in my training, I thought I’d take a look at where I’ve come over the past nine weeks.

Lace Up For Hunger team captain Michael Oliphant finishes 30k at the Midsummer  Night's Run.

Lace Up For Hunger team captain Michael Oliphant finishes 30k at the Midsummer Night’s Run.

My weekly schedule starts with a short “recovery run” on Mondays which is intended to get the blood flowing and ease out the soreness from the Sunday long run. I usually do it on the treadmill at my gym and walk half the distance (since the point is to recover, not run fast or long). Being at the gym, I also do a bit of strength, balance and stretching exercises afterward.

Tuesdays consist of playing soccer. Actually, playing soccer has been the trickiest to fit into my schedule. Soccer itself is a lot of running, but it’s a combination of fast sprints and quick recovery. Because of the stop and go, quick turning, pivoting, and body contact, I’m usually sorer from soccer than any run. I’m still not sure exactly how it fits in my training (is it like a fartlek run? Or more like sprint intervals?). Hopefully it’s benefiting me somehow.

Wednesday is a run at increasing length (started at 8k and is now at 15k) at a slow pace, the same as what I would do a long run.

Thursday consists of speed work. I’m alternating between 800m sprints on a track, hill runs and “tempo” runs. The sprints started at 4 x 800; every three weeks another “set” is added. I’m up to seven this week and will eventually hit 8 x 800 in September. Hills follow a similar pattern, starting at four times up the hill on Logan Avenue in Riverdale along Withrow Park, and will eventually peak at seven. I find these the hardest of all my running workouts. Tempo runs are shorter runs done at a fast pace. I started at 30 minutes, adding five more minutes each one.

After a rest day on Friday, Saturday consists of a mid-range run at the same distance as my Wednesday run. Most of these are done at “race pace,” which is the pace at which I hope to run the full marathon. I find it helps to run at that pace frequently. Your body will start to become acclimated to it, plus you’ll start to be able to “feel” the pace without having to check your watch or running app all the time.

Sunday is the “long slow run,” which is exactly what it sounds like. I have learned the importance of doing this run at a slow pace, 45 seconds to a minute slower than my race pace. The point is to improve endurance by running progressively longer runs, not to run them as fast as you can.

Even though I’ll be running a marathon of 42.2 kilometres, I’ll never actually run this distance in my long runs. Most programs don’t go beyond 32k long runs. I’ll be going as high as 36k, only because I’ve never run a full marathon before and feel I need the confidence of getting closer to the full 42.

I am now up to long runs of 30k, which I have done three times. My longest week of running has been just over 70k, which will rise above 80k as I get up to long run distances into the mid-30s. Amazingly, a run of 21k (half marathon distance) looks like a light, easy run to me now. How perspective changes!

I’ve also had one practice race, the 30k Midsummer Night’s Run, which went really well. Unlike my Around the Bay 30k race in March in which I started fast and was walking by the end, I started conservatively, and actually sped up. My final 10k was four minutes faster than the first, and I finished in 2:39, a full ten minutes faster than my Around the Bay time. Definitely a good confidence booster! It also gave me the opportunity to try out a different approach to pre-race carb loading (actually fat loading followed by carb loading), as well as test my pacing and use of energy gels during an actual race.

Training at this intensity, there is always something a little sore, stiff or tight – be it my left Achilles tendon, hip flexors, or the bane of all runners, my IT bands. And one of my toe nails recently turned purple, the true mark of a runner if there ever was one.

But training for a marathon has been an incredible test: of formulating a plan with a lot of complex moving parts; staying disciplined and sticking to it as close as possible, and; listening to my body and knowing when to push harder, or often more importantly, when to take extra rest. All good traits that will serve me well beyond running.

Hopefully I can keep the discipline going for another eight to nine weeks!

By Michael Oliphant, Lace Up For Hunger Team Captain

Run with Daily Bread’s Lace Up For Hunger team at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Date Added: September 3, 2013 | Filed under: Blog, Fundraising Events, News, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon — Anderson @ 10:12 am