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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

Thanksgiving Drive

The kids are back in school, the weather is turning colder and Daily Bread is looking to stock the shelves during its annual Thanksgiving Drive. The drive runs from September 23 to October 16 with goals of $325,000 and 225,000 pounds of food. DSC_0050-lr

“We distribute millions of pounds of nutritious food through a network of 136 member agencies right across Toronto and we can’t do that without the support of the community,” said Gail Nyberg, Daily Bread’s executive director. Those member agencies include food banks and meal programs that are located in the inner suburbs of Toronto, an area that has seen an increase in food bank visits according to the Who’s Hungry report Daily Bread released earlier this week. Since 2008, the city core has seen a 16% decrease in food bank visits, while the inner suburbs, including Scarborough and Etobicoke, have seen a 45% increase.

“A decrease in the city core is not a good news story when you see there’s an increase somewhere else in the city. Poverty and a lack of affordable housing are pushing people out of the downtown core and into food banks,” said Nyberg.

The donations from the Thanksgiving Drive will mean that Daily Bread can stock its shelves and continue to provide nutritious food until the Holiday Drive in late November. Daily Bread provides food for almost 60,000 food hampers a month as well as thousands of meals served at hostels, shelters and other food programs.

Click here to make an online donation in support of Daily Bread’s Thanksgiving Drive.

Donations of healthy, nutritious non-perishables can be dropped off at any local fire hall in Toronto.

Not sure what to donate? Some of Daily Bread’s most needed food items include canned fruits and vegetables, tomato pasta sauce, baby food and formula and food that is high in protein such as canned fish and meat, peanut butter and canned or dried beans.


Date Added: September 23, 2015 | Comments Off on Thanksgiving Drive | Filed under: News — Sarah @ 1:51 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

Food Sort Challenge Returns!

Food Sort Challenge is on November 18, 2015

Our most popular event is back for another round of sweat inducing, adrenaline moving, fun-packed sorting! A DJ will be onsite to blare music into our systems and get you moving, singing, dancing and, most importantly, sorting!

You will compete against 28 teams in a race against the clock to sort as much food as possible in two hours!  You’ll have a hopping good time while making a difference in the fight against hunger.

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 over 140 member agencies and 200 meal programs. And that’s not all! The food you help to sort will be distributed across Toronto and served on the table of families that rely on Daily Bread for support.

Don’t wait – there are limited spots! Registration fee is $1100 per team. We are also asking all teams to fundraise: the more money you raise, the better the chance you have of winning.

Register now and secure your team before it’s too late!

Shifts you can choose from:

For more information, please contact Sandra at

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Date Added: July 14, 2015 | Comments Off on Food Sort Challenge Returns! | Filed under: Blog,Fundraising Events,News — Adam Paralovos @ 10:06 am

City releases interim report on a poverty reduction strategy

A holistic view of poverty

Yesterday, the city of Toronto released its interim report on a Poverty Reduction Strategy that looked at a number of top priorities and recommendations to reduce poverty in the City of Toronto.

“Torontonians, especially in many low-income communities, need better access to affordable, nutritious food.” – TO Prosperity Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy

As the report stated, access to healthy, nutritious food can be challenging, especially for those on low incomes. Food is a two-tier system, with food at restaurants, farmer’s markets and at grocery stores often being priced far out of range for most families in need. Hunger in Toronto is not about a lack of food, but a lack of income. People on low incomes, or coming to a food bank, simply don’t have enough money to purchase food – regardless of how close or far a grocery store or market might be.

10.2 – Ensure people on income assistance can afford healthy food

One of the points that Daily Bread’s submission to the community consultations made was that many issues around income security that drive food bank use are outside the scope of the city’s responsibility. Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program, the two main income assistance programs that lock people in to poverty, are run by the province. However, the city can, and should, play a stronger, more visible role in advocating that these issues be addressed at both the provincial and federal level. If Toronto’s current mayor can get federal funding for a transit plan, surely there is an opportunity to bring other priority issues in to focus at other levels of government.

10.3 – Support food banks to improve the quality of their food stock, provide culturally specific food, and increase access and eligibility to food for people in need

Daily Bread provides food for over 200 food programs in over 140 community agencies across Toronto. It is a struggle to raise and distribute enough healthy and nutritious food for people coming to food banks. Even though over 40 per cent of the food Daily Bread provides is fresh (fruits, vegetables, yogurt, eggs, milk and meat), we are always striving for more. Providing nutritious food is about providing a healthy mix that people can choose from.

Many community and social service agencies, drop-ins and homeless shelters provide nutritious food programs in addition to many other programs that provide support in other areas. It’s why Daily Bread’s onsite food bank also provides information and referral services to address the poverty-related issues that are driving people to food banks in the first place. Providing healthy food is the first step, but to do that, food programs require both nutritious food and adequate space. Food programs are getting squeezed out and can’t compete with the money that developers can pay for space in Toronto. In addition, the network of social service programs, including food banks, have a hard time adapting quickly to the movement of poverty from the downtown core to the inner suburbs of Scarborough and Etobicoke.

While areas such as housing and improved income security programs are foundational to reducing poverty and hunger, the City could help increase food security for people with low incomes in three key areas:

12.2 – Create clear policies that support the development of community kitchens, outdoor bake ovens, community cooking classes and other food-oriented activities that support social cohesion and food access, and create economic opportunities

Recent research from Valerie Tarasuk, a professor at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, found that 5 per cent or less of low-income residents had accessed community kitchens and community gardens. While very important and worthy initiatives for other reasons, they have proven unable to meet the needs of Torontonians facing hunger on the scale that is required. That is why it is good to see that there is such a mix of opportunities presented here for Torontonians at all levels of income. Creating a vibrant city means having multiple options for people to participate, but ultimately hunger is about poverty and a lack of money to buy food.

To read the Food Security section of the City of Toronto’s interim report on a Poverty Reduction Strategy, please click here.

Read the full Daily Bread and member agency submission to the City of Toronto’s community consultations on a Poverty Reduction Strategy.


Date Added: June 24, 2015 | Comments Off on City releases interim report on a poverty reduction strategy | Filed under: Blog,News — Adam Paralovos @ 12:58 pm

Give 30 Returns


Ramadan-inspired campaign to help fight hunger starts June 11

Help fight hunger and feed families who are struggling with hunger across Toronto!

Give 30 is a Ramadan-inspired campaign that started three years ago in Toronto by local resident Ziyaad Mia, in partnership with Daily Bread Food Bank. Since then, Give 30 has expanded to communities across Canada and continues to grow every year!

Ramadan is a month of fasting – no more morning coffees or sandwiches from the cafeteria for lunch. When Mia originally came up with the idea, he thought about how much money he would save not buying coffee every day. And then he thought about all the people who can’t afford food at all.

People who aren’t fasting can also take part, says Give 30 founder Ziyaad Mia, noting that donations have come from people of all faiths and backgrounds. “Everyone can participate in the spirit of Ramadan,” Mia emphasizes.  “Hunger knows no race, religion, ethnicity or creed and that’s why it’s important for everyone to join Give 30.”

“Brown bag your lunch for the month or tally up 30 days of coffee money.  Whatever it is, it can make a difference in the lives of those who don’t have enough to eat.”

During the summer months, donations from the public drop significantly – which means people have less nutritious food on the table. Your gift allows Daily Bread to distribute food to over 200 food programs across Toronto.

Give 30 – ideas to give!

Click here to donate to Daily Bread Food Bank!

Date Added: June 11, 2015 | Comments Off on Give 30 Returns | Filed under: Blog,News — Adam Paralovos @ 3:45 pm

Training together

Food banks and meal programs from across Toronto come together for workshops on disability issues

Daily Bread Food Bank, North York Harvest Food Bank (NYHFB) and Second Harvest provide food for hundreds of programs across Toronto. Together, they also jointly organize a free full-day training event IMG_6383_lrfor the staff and volunteers that coordinate these food programs.

“This was my first Joint Agency Training Workshop, and it was wonderful to see so many agency staff and volunteers connecting with like-minded people from across the city,” said NYHFB’s Rowena Power, one of the co-organizers. “So often we work in isolation, so it’s really positive to feel like we are all part of something bigger.”

Lucky number 13
The 13th Joint Agency Training Workshop focused on disability issues, providing workshops in key areas such as changes to the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), mental health awareness and food program accessibility for those with both invisible and visible disabilities. Over 64 agencies came together to share knowledge and learn more about an issue that affects many of those coming to food banks and meal programs. Twenty-eight per cent of people coming to a food bank are on ODSP, and 49 per cent IMG_6416_lrof food bank clients have a disability.

The cost of living with a disability
Most people can’t live on ODSP alone – that’s why they are coming to food banks. A final panel discussion looked at this issue in depth: what political and policy trends are affecting people on ODSP, as well as those living with a disability or physical illness? What can agencies do to help?
John Stapleton, a Daily Bread board member who is part of Open Policy Ontario, spoke about how challenging a situation it can be, with nine different disability benefits possible. ODSP can be an extremely isolating program, with the entire process wrapped up in red tape. What can agencies do to help?

Helping people find their voice
Because it’s so isolating, many people coming to a food bank or meal program find that their local food IMG_6435_lrprogram often becomes so much more than just a place where they can access food. A food bank client from a recent survey said that her local food bank was also “her friends, her community, her restaurant and her library.” Building on that community that is already there, Stapleton suggested that helping people find their own voice is one of the biggest ways agencies can help.

I’m not the only one
Carolyn Bierma, one of the workshop organizers from Daily Bread, agrees that paving the way for people to self-advocate is valuable.
“Some people are natural-born advocates. But the reality for many others is that poverty grinds down that part of their self-worth and mental health until they have nothing left,” said Carolyn. “Many clients have expressed how much of a challenge it was for them to get to that place where you realize you’re not the only one struggling, and you start to come out of that isolation and learn some self-compassion…it is a struggle to realize ‘Hey, I’m in this situation NOT because there is something fundamentally wrong with me but because there is something fundamentally wrong with the system; it doesn’t help people the way it’s supposed to.’


Date Added: May 29, 2015 | Comments Off on Training together | Filed under: Blog,Member Agencies,News — Tags: , , , — Sarah @ 1:17 pm

Poverty Reduction and Food Security: A Conversation

Daily Bread submits report on improving access to food for City of Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy as part of community consultations

In April 2014 City Council directed the development of a City of Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy. In the City’s first round of consultations for its Poverty Reduction Strategy, food banks were discussed frequently when it came to suggested actions on improving access to food.

The City is currently wrapping up its second phase of consultation, which sought input in order to identify top priorities and principles, as well as focused “deep dives” on recommendations from specific areas (such as affordable housing, child care, support for quality nutrition for all). With a group of representatives from some of Daily Bread’s member agencies, Daily Bread staff facilitated and took part in a group discussion exploring some of the recommendations made in this first round of consultations, identifying some key recommendations in order to fight hunger and poverty in Toronto in both the short and long term.

Income and housing: foundational to addressing food insecurity

Despite the high number of people coming to food banks in the city, food programs only meet a fraction of the level of need. Recent research from Valerie Tarasuk, a professor at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto, found that just over 20 per cent of low-income residents had accessed a food bank, and 5 per cent or less accessed community kitchens and community gardens.[1] While very important and worthy initiatives for other reasons, they have proven unable to meet the needs of Torontonians facing hunger on the scale that is required.

As such, discussion participants felt that housing and income were foundational areas to address in order to address food insecurity. Without sufficiently addressing those two areas, little progress will be made on eliminating hunger and poverty in our city. As many issues around income security that drive food bank use rest outside the scope of the city’s responsibility, participants felt that the city can and should play a stronger, more visible role in advocating for these issues to be addressed at the provincial and federal level.

Suggested actions to improve food access: Looking closer

While these areas are foundational to reducing poverty and hunger, discussion participants felt that the City could help increase food security for people with low income in three key areas:

Moving forward

As the City proceeds with its Poverty Reduction Strategy, there is much potential for progress to be made that improves the quality of life for all its citizens. Daily Bread, its vast agency network that helps feed Toronto, and the individuals who access their services, have a great deal of knowledge and experience that can help continue to inform this strategy as it moves forward. With that, the City of Toronto can help Daily Bread, along with its member agencies, in its mission to end poverty and hunger in our communities.

Click here to download and read Daily Bread’s full submission to the City of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy consultations – Poverty Reduction and Food Security: A Conversation.

[1] S Kirkpatrick, V Tarasuk. Food insecurity and participation in community food programs among low-income Toronto families. Canadian Journal of Public Health 2009; 100(2): 135-139.

Date Added: May 21, 2015 | Comments Off on Poverty Reduction and Food Security: A Conversation | Filed under: Blog,Member Agencies,News,Policy,Research — Tags: — Sarah @ 4:06 pm

Come work for us this summer!

We’re hiring for two positions through the Canada Summer Job Program, an Assistant Receptionist and Information & Referral Support Worker. Both positions are 30 hours per week, starting July 6 until August 28.

To apply for these positions you must meet the Canada Summer Job Programs eligibility requirements, which include being between 15 and 30 years of age and a full-time student this past year who intends to return to school on a full-time basis next year.

For more information on these jobs, eligibility and how to apply, click here to check out our job opportunities page! Deadline to apply is Friday, June 5.

Date Added: May 20, 2015 | Comments Off on Come work for us this summer! | Filed under: Blog,Job Opportunities,News — Sarah @ 4:09 pm

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