Our Spring Drive has ended! Thanks to your generous donations, we raised an amazing 185,000 pounds of food – that’s 35,000 pounds more than our original goal. We also raised 87 per cent of our financial goal and ended the Spring Drive with over $187,000.
Thank you to everyone who donated, volunteered and a big thank you to those who ran food and fund drives at their schools, workplaces or in the community.
Corporate volunteers play a HUGE role at Daily Bread. In addition to supporting our work financially and through food donations, last year 6,665 awesome employees volunteered 22,167 hours of their valuable time to help us sort 1,722,394 pounds of food. And, our community champions donated their time by volunteering, hosting and organizing over 350 drives in their school, club or faith group. What all these big numbers really mean is that you are helping us to distribute hundreds of thousands of food hampers to individuals and families and millions of meals for people in Toronto struggling with hunger.
Daily Bread has over 10,000 volunteers who help us throughout the year. Volunteers are the heart of Daily Bread. It is amazing and humbling to see the number of volunteers who regularly come in and help us in the fight against hunger. They help us answer the phones, input data, make the boxes, sort the food, palletize the sorted food, get out the orders, prepare the meals, wash the dishes, haul the garbage, clean up, greet the volunteers, serve clients at the food bank, give info to clients and refer them to other resources, work at special events like public food sorts and Canstruction … and in other ways, big and small, throughout the year!
This list has been complied from information provided by both Daily Bread Food Bank and the Toronto Drop-In Network.
For information on your local food bank or meal program, you can call 211 during the weekend, evenings and holidays. During regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) you can call Daily Bread at 416-203-0050 to find out where your closest food bank is in Toronto.
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 | Comments Off | Filed under: Blog,News — Jessica @ 11:48 am
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 http://bit.ly/SpringDrive15 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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
Date Added: March 24, 2015 | Comments Off | Filed under: Blog,News — Sarah @ 10:17 am
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.
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.
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:
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!
Not sure what to donate? Here are some great ideas of food to donate that Daily Bread needs:
The 10th Anniversary of the Starkman Cup Trivia Challenge returns March 9!
The Starkman Cup is back for its 10th year! This brain-teasing, friendly competition is presented by the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association in support of Daily Bread Food Bank’s services and programs in Toronto.
Have a deep knowledge of information trapped and waiting to come out and be acknowledged? Proud of your commitment of The Simpsons and looking for the right audience to appreciate it? Come out to the Starkman Cup named appropriately in remembrance of Randy Starkman, The Toronto Star journalist who was a well-known and beloved trivia player. You will be questioned and tested for your deep knowledge on television shows, politics, Star Trek and sports, but of course all subjects are fair game…you are warned.
When: Monday, March 9, 2015 | 6:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Steam Whistle Brewing, The Roundhouse, 255 Bremner Blvd.
Tickets: $75 per person or $600 for a team of 8. Includes a dinner prepared by Daily Bread’s Catering Kitchen.
If you’d love to be a part of this and don’t have a team to join, we will gladly place you with one.