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TTC Challenge

We need your help on December 14, 15 and 16! The TTC Challenge is a fun volunteer engagement opportunity where corporate groups of 2 to 4 individuals a shift will ask and inspire commuters to spread a little cheer for someone
TTC CHALLENGE - 2015 - WEB BANNER in need this holiday season.  This time of year can be overwhelming for those living in poverty.  You can help make a big difference by helping out and volunteering some of your time.

Details of the event:

  • December 14, 15, and 16
  • Participating Stations: Bloor/Yonge, King, Dundas, Bay, College
  • Shifts: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m
  • Staffing required: 2 to 4 volunteers per station, per shift

Teams of volunteers will be scheduled at a participating TTC Subway station to ask and inspire riders to spare a little extra jingle (cash donations) to help fill donation tins for Daily Bread.

Date Added: November 16, 2015 | Comments Off on TTC Challenge | Filed under: Blog,Events,News — Tags: , , , , — Adam Paralovos @ 3:35 pm

Reducing food waste through a federal tax incentive

A National Zero Waste Council Proposal

Going to council this week is a motion by Councillor Mike Layton to support a food waste reduction federal tax incentive that would increase the amount of edible food donated to food programs while at the same time reducing the amount of food that is wasted every year. It’s estimated that $31 billion worth of food is wasted every year – while half of that occurs at the consumer level, some happens in other areas, including grocery stores, farms and food industry.Daily Bread Food Bank,

Last year, Ontario successfully adopted and implemented a food donation credit for farmers of 25%, to encourage more food donations of fresh food.

As Mike Layton points out in a media release by the National Zero Waste Council, this tax incentive “would not address the systemic causes of poverty and food security, it’s one of a suite of tools needed to prevent the waste of edible food.”

Both poverty and food security are complex issues that require a wide range of solutions. That’s why Daily Bread has a two-part mission: providing a mix of nutritious food and also developing and advocating for innovative public policy that looks at hunger as a symptom of the much bigger problem of poverty. Providing a mix of healthy and nutritious food is very challenging – Daily Bread distributed over 8.4 million pounds of food last year and is the largest provider of food relief in the GTA, distributing through a network of 136 member agencies across Toronto.

A tax incentive such as this one would be a good step in increasing the amount of healthy and nutritious food available at food programs including meal programs at homeless shelters and women’s shelters as well as food banks. Incentives such as these – that help food banks provide better service at the same time as reducing food waste – does not detract from the other work being done to address systemic issues of hunger and poverty.

A food distribution hub such as Daily Bread Food Bank has processes in place to determine what kind of food can be accepted based on a variety of reasons including space available, the quality and freshness of the food and whether the food can be distributed while it is fresh. Not all food donations can be accepted – and Daily Bread, along with most food banks and distribution hubs, have a choice as to whether to accept a donation or not. Food banks will not become a dumping ground for inedible food, as some have suggested.

Date Added: November 11, 2015 | Comments Off on Reducing food waste through a federal tax incentive | Filed under: Blog,News — Tags: , , , , — Adam Paralovos @ 1:42 pm

City Council votes today to adopt a Poverty Reduction Strategy

Today City Council votes to adopt a Poverty Reduction Strategy for the City of Toronto. Daily Bread Food Bank supports the strategy as a whole, as it includes strong actions such as increased investment in affordable housing and child care, and progressive policies such as inclusionary zoning, a living wage and a low income transit fare.

Daily Bread Food Bank is a non-profit organization that provides food and support to almost 200 food programs and 136 member agencies across Toronto. We ensure that those on low incomes who are struggling with hunger have access to nutritious food through food banks, homeless shelters, community food centres as well as meal programs. We also recognize that hunger is a symptom of poverty and to have any impact on reducing hunger, first we need to reduce poverty.

Poverty reduction strategies accompanied by targets and financial commitments make a difference

Poverty reduction strategies accompanied by targets and financial commitments have been shown to help reduce poverty at the provincial level across the country. Daily Bread’s latest Who’s Hungry report shows that there were nearly 900,000 visits to Toronto food banks in the last year alone, with a 45 per cent increase in the inner suburbs since 2008. Now more than ever, it is essential to implement a poverty reduction plan in the City of Toronto.

Daily Bread agencies are doing their best to fight hunger in wards throughout the city

But we can’t do it alone.

There are many Daily Bread Food Bank member agencies operating in wards throughout the city. The majority of our member agencies run their food programs in local churches and community centres. Dedicated staff and volunteers in these agencies pick up, stock, and distribute food to people in their community in addition to providing other services to support people on low incomes. Daily Bread moves about $22 million worth of food on a budget of about $7 million relying primarily on private donations from individuals and the community. Daily Bread and the food banks we support operate largely outside of government and do not receive government funding.

The attached link provides a ward-by-ward breakdown of food banks operating in each ward, and how many visits were made to food banks in the last year. Some wards do not have Daily Bread member agencies, which require community members in that ward to access a food bank in another ward that is closest to them. As mentioned in our submission during the poverty reduction consultation process, finding adequate space to run programs such as food banks is a significant challenge for service providers such as Daily Bread. It is hoped that the City can play a role in helping service providers such as food banks access spaces required to run a food program that serves the local community.

Help ensure that the Poverty Reduction Strategy is backed by a strong financial commitment

Ensure that your city councillor supports the Poverty Reduction Strategy, which will help to support people living in poverty across the city, as well as the agencies that support them. Also ensure that your city councillor supports a significant financial commitment to the strategy in the upcoming 2016 City budget. A financial commitment to the Poverty Reduction Strategy is an investment in the citizens of Toronto, helping to remove many of the barriers that keep people in poverty.

Click here to see a map of visits to Toronto food banks by ward

Click here view our 2015 report on hunger in Toronto: Who’s Hungry, A Tale of Two Cities




Date Added: November 4, 2015 | Comments Off on City Council votes today to adopt a Poverty Reduction Strategy | Filed under: Blog,Government,News,Who's Hungry Report — Tags: — Sarah @ 3:57 pm

CP Holiday Train coming to Toronto!

Every year, the CP Holiday Train travels to communities all across North America – and all for a good cause! Decked out in festive lights, the train will arrive in Toronto at The Lambton Yard on 750 Runnymede Road on November 30 at 7 p.m. The CP Holiday Train raises money, food and awareness for local food banks like Daily Bread Food Bank and guests are asked to bring food or fund donations to support their community. All are welcome to this amazing event to cozy up by the fire while sipping on hot chocolate and coffee and enjoying entertainment all night long, with CP hosting Devin Cuddy and Kelly Prescott on stage. Santa will be greeting guests all evening and handing out candy to children. All contributions will be going to Daily Bread Food Bank.

Daily Bread Food Bank is a registered charity that is fighting hunger in our communities. Every year thousands of people across Toronto rely on food banks. A distribution hub, Daily Bread provides food and support to almost 200 food programs across Toronto and is the largest provider of food relief in the GTA. To learn more, please visit

Date Added: | Comments Off on CP Holiday Train coming to Toronto! | Filed under: Blog,News — Adam Paralovos @ 1:57 pm

Why reinstating the long-form census matters

One of the campaign promises of the newly elected federal government was to immediately restore the long-form census. This would be an important step to help create the long-term policy changes necessary to help lift more people out of poverty.

Research is critical to creating social change
Daily Bread believes that research is critical to creating social change and to reduce poverty. The more accurate the information that policy-makers have about those living in poverty, the more likely effective, evidence-based policy can be developed in order to create long-term change.

Back in 2010, the Conservative government cancelled the long-form census in favour of a voluntary national household survey. This action caused concern across a wide spectrum of business, government, and non-profit organizations alike, including Daily Bread Food Bank. What was once a highly regarded source of statistical information for planners and researchers would be far less accurate due to the inevitable decreased rate of response due to this change.

National Household Survey a poor substitute
Sure enough, response rates to the voluntary National Household Survey (NHS) decreased drastically compared to earlier censuses, including an underrepresentation of those at either end of the income scale. Both low and very high income earners alike were less likely to respond to the voluntary survey.

As a result, researchers and planners found the data from the National Household Survey to be unreliable and less representative of the general population, and resulted in a poorer quality of information available from which to base important policy-making decisions.

Finding out how to improve services and outcomes for people in poverty
Decreased response rates from the lower income population are particularly problematic when trying to develop policies to address high rates of poverty. A national investigation by Global News found out that neighbourhoods with higher numbers of people receiving social assistance had higher non-response rates to the NHS. This lack of information makes it far more difficult for city planners and public health officials to develop policies that would help improve services and outcomes for those in need.

Developing smart policy, as well as providing evidence as to which policies work, requires data that is most representative of the population and accurate. You can’t fix a complex problem like poverty until you’ve been able to identify what the problem is and that requires the kind of valuable information that you can only get from the long-form census. Reinstating the long-form census as soon as possible would help make this happen.

Date Added: October 23, 2015 | Comments Off on Why reinstating the long-form census matters | Filed under: Blog,News — Adam Paralovos @ 1:20 pm

The increase in cost of the ‘welfare diet’, 20 years later

How even the paltriest shopping list became unaffordable for those receiving social assistance

In their paper “The Welfare Diet, 20 years later”, John Stapleton and Jamille Clarke-Darshanand mark the 20th anniversary of the creation of a sample shopping list which was used to demonstrate what a single person receiving welfare could afford to purchase. This shopping list, created by the provincial government at the time, was used to justify the massive welfare rate cut they implemented a couple of months earlier.

This shopping list was very sparse by any standard; it didn’t include staple items such as salt, pepper, or pasta sauce (although it did contain pasta), and was far from nutritionally complete. However, the authors’ show in their paper how the cost of even this bare bones diet has increased at a rate that has far outstripped core inflation, let alone the income provided by social assistance.

It was 20 years ago that the provincial Conservative government at the time cut welfare rates by over 21 per cent. It was an action which was purportedly implemented to discourage dependence on “the system”. Instead, it led to vastly increased hardship for thousands of Ontarians, and a huge surge in food bank visits at a rate which hasn’t been seen quite to the same extent since.

Within a two year period from 1995 to 1997, food bank visits in Toronto skyrocketed by almost 40 per cent. Another huge surge took place after the 2008 recession, but even a global economic crash did not have quite the same effect as that one government action made at policy level 20 years earlier.

Total Food Bank Visits 1995 to 2015

Source: Food bank visit numbers from Daily Bread Food Bank and North York Harvest member agencies

In the years following that massive rate cut, welfare rates remained frozen until 2003, and have been raised only marginally since. Using the “welfare diet” as a benchmark, the paper demonstrates that the cost of food has gone up by 107 per cent since 1995. By contrast, core inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has gone up by 45 per cent, while the rate for a single person receiving welfare has gone up by just 31%.

While the rate for a single person household is used as an example, social assistance rates for all household types, including people receiving provincial disability assistance, face a similar deficit.


Percent change in OW and cost of welfare diet

Source: John Stapleton and Jamille Clarke-Darshanand, “The Welfare Diet 20 years later” The growing nutrition crisis for Ontario’s poorest people. September 2015. (Author’s note).

With the price inflation of food accelerating in the last couple years, especially meat, fruits and vegetables, it is not surprising that people living on fixed incomes such as social assistance or pensions are having an increasingly difficult time affording an adequate diet. While housing related costs are the biggest financial pressure for people accessing food banks in Toronto, the rising costs of food have added to the burden.

At food banks we see more people who, a couple years ago, may have been able to afford to shop at a grocery store a couple times a month – and now can hardly afford to shop at all. This includes people with disabilities and people receiving pensions. In 2005, households receiving provincial disability assistance were 18 per cent of those accessing food banks in Toronto; now they make up 34 per cent.

Torontonians are also accessing food banks in Toronto for longer periods than before: where previously the average duration was 12 months; that average has now doubled to 24 months. More and more, food banks are becoming less of short term, stop-gap measure, and more of a long term coping strategy.

As the paper mentions, this all means we have a disaster-in-waiting regarding health and human costs. As the federal election quickly approaches, it is all the more important that addressing poverty and hunger are prominent on the campaign radar.

To download a pdf copy of the full report, ‘The Welfare Diet, 20 Years Later’, please click here.

To read the full story on this report in the Toronto Star, click here.


Date Added: October 14, 2015 | Comments Off on The increase in cost of the ‘welfare diet’, 20 years later | Filed under: Blog,News,Policy,Research — Tags: , , , — Sarah @ 2:28 pm

Thanksgiving Drive Public Food Sorts sponsored by Kellogg Canada

Kellogs Banner - WEB

Please note: The Thanksgiving Drive Public Food Sorts are filled. No volunteers are needed.

Each Thanksgiving Daily Bread opens up our doors to our community during the holiday weekend and over 500 volunteers take over our warehouse to help us sort the thousands of pounds of food donated by our generous neighbours in support of our Thanksgiving Drive. This year our goal is to raise $325,000 and 225,000 pounds of food which will help stock our shelves and continue to provide nutritious food until the Holiday Drive in late November. DSC_0072

“Our Food Sorts play a critical role in our thanksgiving drive,” said Gail Nyberg, Daily Bread’s executive director. “We depend on our volunteers to sort all of the food donations to ensure that we can deliver food to people struggling with hunger in Toronto. This year our food sort volunteer sign-up was booked in less than 7 minutes!”

What makes this year’s sort even more special is that our friends at Kellogg Canada are sponsoring our food sort. They have also committed to donating over 60,000 pounds of food for the drive and also snacks for the volunteers who come in to volunteer their time on Thanksgiving. Whether donating food, time or money, Kellogg Canada and their employees are always looking to brighten the future for those in need.

“As a food company we understand the importance of addressing the growing hunger problem in Canada. And, through our Breakfasts for Better Days initiative, we’re doing what we can to make hunger matter – both across the globe and right here in the communities in which we live and work,” said Lores Tomé, Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs, Kellogg Canada Inc.

Thank you Kellogg Canada for helping to nourish our volunteers and our neighbours in need!

Date Added: September 30, 2015 | Comments Off on Thanksgiving Drive Public Food Sorts sponsored by Kellogg Canada | Filed under: Blog,News,Public Food Sorts — Tags: , , — Sarah @ 2:25 pm

Sign up for the Thanksgiving Public Food Sorts!

Thanksgiving Drive Public Food Sorts 2015


An annual community event, hundreds of people over the holiday weekend will come help sort food at Daily Bread’s warehouse in south Etobicoke.

Can’t make it? The Thanksgiving Drive starts September 23 and runs until October 16. You can donate non-perishable food and drop it off at any fire hall across Toronto, or directly to Daily Bread’s warehouse at 191 New Toronto Street. Our most needed food items include peanut butter, canned fish, tomato pasta sauce, canned or dried beans as well as canned fruits and vegetables.

Interested in running a food drive? Click here to find out how and to register your drive!

Date Added: September 22, 2015 | Comments Off on Sign up for the Thanksgiving Public Food Sorts! | Filed under: Blog,News,Public Food Sorts,Thanksgiving Drive — Sarah @ 10:00 am

Who’s Hungry 2015

Today, Daily Bread releases its annual report on hunger. Based on surveys of over  a thousand food bank clients across the city, the Who’s Hungry report looks in to the reasons why people are going to a food bank and, more importantly, what we can do to change things.

Please click here to find out more and download the entire report.

Date Added: September 21, 2015 | Comments Off on Who’s Hungry 2015 | Filed under: Blog,News,Research,Who's Hungry Report — Sarah @ 8:38 am

A shout-out to organizers of 4 other great summer events

Cram-a-Cruiser and the Pinball Clemons Foundation get schools all over the city to “Just Give”!DSC_0022

Michael Pinball Clemons and his team organized a city wide drive in June through the Just Give Campaign! Toronto Police officers picked up about 10,000 lbs from 26 schools who joined the challenge!




TFC players score in the fight against hunger!

On June 27, the TFC team and Purolator employees and volunteers collected food and funds for Daily Bread. Thanks to MLSE, Purolator Tackle Hunger and TFC players and fans, over $8,000 was raised!

Hundreds of people Give 30 to make a mark on hunger!

Give 30 unites Torontonians, regardless of faith, to give back during Ramadan by encouraging donations to Daily Bread and other food banks across Canada. So far, the campaign has raised over $35,000!

give30Ziyaad Mia, Founder of Give 30 and a Daily Bread volunteer sorting food donations at Daily Bread.









Canstruction Toronto stocks our shelves during its annual competition!

19 creative structures, made entirely with non-perishable food, were on display.  When it was over, 73,000 pounds of nutritious food was donated.

cansFortuna by BA Consulting Group won the best structure at this year’s event.








Date Added: August 28, 2015 | Comments Off on A shout-out to organizers of 4 other great summer events | Filed under: Blog — Adam Paralovos @ 11:28 am

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