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Because hunger doesn't wait for policy change.





Filing Income Taxes

Daily Bread hosts annual income tax filing workshops to help food bank clients

Why is it so important for someone coming to a food bank to file their taxes? Because even people with no taxable income can access important benefits such as the Ontario Child Benefit or the Ontario Trillium Benefit. Delivering those benefits through the tax system is one way to provide people on low incomes with additional income support – it can also help people meet basic needs, such as food. According to a survey and subsequent research report Daily Bread put out in 2011, Filing Income Taxes and Accessing Food Banks: Are Ontarians With Low-Income Getting the Benefits They are Entitled To?, many people don’t know that they could be eligible for a number on provincial tax credits (benefits) even though they are on social assistance or have income.

That’s one of the reasons why Daily Bread, and many community agencies across Toronto, host free income tax workshops where volunteers help people on low incomes file their taxes.

Garth MacGirr helped food bank clients do just that, along with other volunteers through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. In total, over 25 people from the community, including food bank clients, filed their taxes. It’s something Garth has been doing for the past 18 years – volunteering to help people on low incomes file their taxes. He knows that filing your taxes can be difficult for some people, especially if they’ve never done it before and it is his way of giving back to the community.

“We have a tax and benefit system,” says Garth, “if you don’t file your taxes, you don’t benefit.”

Date Added: March 31, 2015 | Filed under: Blog, News — Jessica @ 11:48 am

Spring Drive update

Spring Drive update! Thanks to your generous donations, we’ve raised $65,000 and 30,000 pounds of food. Our goals are $215,000 and 150,000 pounds of food. The Spring Drive ends April 10. You can donate online at or drop off nutritious non-perishable food donations at your local fire hall, Loblaws, nofrills or Valu-Mart.

Not sure what kinds of food to donate? Canned fish and meat are great protein options, as is peanut butter and canned (or dried) beans and lentils. We’re always looking for donations of canned fruits and vegetables and tomato pasta sauce too.

Did you know that 40% of the food Daily Bread distributes is fresh? That includes fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, yogurt and eggs that are either donated or purchased. When you donate online, your donation helps us distribute that food out to over 200 food programs across the city. Your donations help ensure families have food to put on the table.

Date Added: March 26, 2015 | Filed under: Blog, News, Spring Drive — Tags: , , , — Anderson @ 11:51 am

Fighting Hunger by Fighting Poverty: Child Benefits

Kevin Milligan, an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of British Columbia, spoke at a UBC event this week on child poverty, looking at some issues around child benefits and their impact as well as minimum wage.

Daily Bread has been instrumental in advocating for social assistance reform, which includes the successful introduction of an Ontario Child Benefit.

As Milligan says in his post, one of the positive impacts of a policy like this is that child benefits both directly impact those on low incomes, as well as helping to transition parents in to paid work. employment-singles-300x239

“In the 1980s and 1990s, about half of single mothers worked. In the 2000s, this jumped by 40% in large part because of the new National Child Benefit Supplement.”Click here to read the full post “Notes for UBC Alumni Dialogue on Child Poverty”.




While social assistance caseloads in Ontario have risen, the demographics have changed over the years. Less families and single parents are on Ontario Works, while more single adults are. The largest demographic of people coming to food banks are made up of single person households. These individuals have the least amount of support, with a single adult on Ontario Works receiving $656 a month to live on, and having to spend most of that on rent – often in poor living conditions.

If we want to make a positive impact on poverty, it is worth looking at policies that have worked – either in Canada or in other countries. A similar benefit, paid through the tax system to single adults, might have similar positive impacts. It’s one of the reasons Daily Bread also supports the idea of a housing benefit, considering that a lack of affordable housing is one of the main drivers of food bank usage. The average person coming to a food bank spends 71 per cent of their income on housing costs, leaving very little left over for clothing, transportation or food.

Date Added: | Filed under: Blog, News, Policy — Tags: , , , , — Anderson @ 3:30 am

Interested in a gardening challenge?

Love gardening? Do you enjoy working hard as well as organizing volunteers and community members? If you like a challenge, Daily Bread has space available onsite in South Etobicoke that can be rented and used as a community garden allotment this season. All it needs is you to organize it and run it!

We are looking for an organization or individual that has experience in running a community- or volunteer-based gardening program and really understands the depth of work involved in running a garden as well as being financially able to take on any associated costs. The ideal organization would also have access to their own volunteer base or community base that could manage the garden day-to-day. Think you are up to the challenge? Email for more information and to apply.

Daily Bread’s core mission is to act as a distribution hub, providing millions of pounds of food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, to over 140 member agencies across the city through both donations and purchasing food. Daily Bread provides a number of training opportunities, workshops and Community Engagement Coordinators who work closely with our agencies to ensure nutritious food is getting to those who need it most. We are excited that the knowledge we have gained running a garden can now be used to support our member agencies to create or grow their own gardening projects.

Have your own garden? Don’t forget while you are planting seeds this spring that many local food banks will be happy to accept your extra produce this season! Check out Plant a Row, Grow a Row for more information on how you can help fight hunger with your garden.

DSCN3718Garden 2011 026

Date Added: March 24, 2015 | Filed under: Blog, News — Anderson @ 10:17 am

Get Ready, Get Set, SORT!

The Food Sort Challenge is back for another round on May 13, 2015!

The Food Sort Challenge is the fastest, wildest and the most popular fundraising event of the year! Taking place at Daily Bread’s warehouse, 21 teams will compete against each other and the tick tock of the clock to sort and pack 3,000 pounds of food into 35 different categories in the fastest time possible. This is a fantastic way to work with your colleagues in a fun-packed event while making a difference in the fight against hunger. DSC_0257

Daily Bread’s Food Sort Challenge hopes to raise $50,000 and sort 63,000 pounds of food.

All of the donations raised will be put to work right away. Every $1 allows Daily Bread to distribute $5 worth of food through a network of 142 member agencies and 200 food programs. The food your team helps to sort will be distributed across Toronto to families that rely on Daily Bread for support.

Don’t wait –there are limited spots.

Register now! Click here to register your team online.

The registration fee is $1100 per team. We are also asking all teams to fundraise for an opportunity to get closer to the title. For every $500 you raise in pledges buys your team 30 seconds OFF your final sorting time AND any food donations collected as part of a drive and brought to the event will be added to the FINAL weight your team sorts. Register now and secure your team before it’s too late.

There are three different shifts on May 13 to choose from:

  • 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Sandra at

Date Added: March 17, 2015 | Filed under: Blog, Fundraising Events, News — Tags: , , — Anderson @ 11:50 am

Bring a non-perishable food donation to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be winding its way through downtown Toronto on March 15. The Toronto Paramedic Services and Toronto Paramedic Association will be marching in the parade, collecting non-perishable food donations for Daily Bread Food Bank. This is the second year in the row that they have collected food donations. Last year over 1130 pounds of food was donated, helping provide  nutritious food to families in need. This year, they’ve doubled their goal. Help them raise over a 1000 pounds of healthy food by bringing a non-perishable food donation down to the parade! DSC_0023

Not sure what to donate? Here are some great ideas of food to donate that Daily Bread needs:

  • canned/dried beans or lentils
  • canned fruit and vegetables
  • peanut butter
  • canned fish
  • tomato pasta sauce

The parade starts from Bloor and St. George at noon on Sunday, March 15. For more information on the parade, click here.

Date Added: March 6, 2015 | Filed under: Blog, Events, News — Tags: , , , , — Anderson @ 4:45 pm