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IT’S BACK!
Food Sort Challenge is on November 18, 2015

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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:

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

For more information, please contact Sandra at Sandra@dailybread.ca.


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:

  • Helping increase the availability of space to run food banks, as the needed facilities to run programs such as food banks are disappearing;
  • Making a granting process available for food banks that help capital and core funding requirements for essential equipment like large freezers, so nutritious, perishable food can be adequately stored; and,
  • Through partnership with Toronto Public Health, helping to fund the bulk purchase of key dietary items that are seen as critical in order for households to have a nutritious diet, and distributed through the food bank network.

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

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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.’

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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



Congratulations to this year’s Best in Class winners

Last night Daily Bread hosted the annual Best in Class Awards which recognized the amazing and outstanding support from our community and corporate leaders in our fight against hunger!

Here are the highlights of the evening and the 2014 award winners:

Community Fundraiser Award: Daily Flag for Daily Bread 

Congratulations to Michelynn and Benedict Hilliard on this great accomplishment and for all of their efforts for Daily Bread.

Daily Flag for Daily Bread is a truly a unique event that raises donations and creates awareness about poverty and hunger issues in the Beaches neighbourhood. This event takes place over 25 days and actively engages neighbours and friends who create one-of-a-kind flags and then auctions them off, with proceeds going to Daily Bread. Last year, Daily Flag for Daily Bread doubled its donations and allowed Daily Bread to reach out and help more people in need.

“We have to keep at it until the government does more on this issue of hunger,” said Benedict Hilliard.

From l to r: Sarah Diebel (Daily Bread board member), Benedict Hilliard (Daily Flag for Daily Bread) and Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director.

From l to r: Sarah Diebel (Daily Bread board member), Benedict Hilliard (Daily Flag for Daily Bread) and Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director.

Volunteer Team Award: CIBC

CIBC and its employees lead by example by donating hundreds and sometimes even thousands of hours of their time and their valuable skills – volunteering on-site in our warehouse or at member agencies; participating in special events and in some cases sharing their technical expertise with us.

Since 2008, CIBC employees have been regular volunteer fixtures in our warehouse. They have devoted a remarkable 3,000 hours of their time to Daily Bread. CIBC employees are committed to the communities where they work and live and we are grateful for their support!

From l to r: Sarah Diebel (Daily Bread board member), Lina Lanni (CIBC District Branch Manager),  Carissa Lucreziano, (General Manager- CIBC) and Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director).

From l to r: Sarah Diebel (Daily Bread board member), Lina Lanni (CIBC District Branch Manager), Carissa Lucreziano, (General Manager- CIBC) and Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director).

Corporate Donor Award: Great Gulf 

This year we are recognizing one of our long-time donors who have shown their leadership in support of hunger issues since 2003 – congratulations Great Gulf! One of the unique things about Great Gulf is that they are one of our only corporate donors to make consistent monthly donations. We know we can count on them each and every month! This is a huge help especially when the shelves are low and we need to purchase additional food items to supplement what has been donated.

“We are going to bring our staff to volunteer and challenge others to do the same, ” said Madeline Zito, who is the Vice President of Public Relations at Great Gulf. “This is such a worthwhile cause.”

From l to r: Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director) and Madeline Zito (Vice President Public Relations for Great Gulf).

From l to r: Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director) and Madeline Zito (Vice President Public Relations for Great Gulf).

Food Industry Donor Award: Campbell’s Company of Canada

Campbell’s Company of Canada has consistently provided outstanding food donations, of significant quality and quantity and on a regular basis.  Campbell’s understands that hunger is a complex issue – they support hunger issues through donations and also work hard to raise awareness and inspire our neighbours to get involved. Last year alone, they provided over half a million pounds’ worth of food donations. They are probably the best neighbour we could ever imagine!

“There are many people that are really struggling to feed their families and many children as well who are going hungry,” said Moya Brown. “At Campbell’s, we are committed to alleviating that hunger.”

From l to r: Sarah Diebel (Daily Bread board member), Moya Brown (VP, Marketing  at Campbell’s Company of Canada) and Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director).

From l to r: Sarah Diebel (Daily Bread board member), Moya Brown (VP, Marketing at Campbell’s Company of Canada) and Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director).

Agency Award: Friends of Jesus Christ, Canada Food Bank Ministry

Friends of Jesus Christ, Canada Food Bank Ministry, has been working with Daily Bread since 2008. This agency has consistently stepped up and covered areas when a food bank in the area has closed down, leaving a potentially devastating gap in being able to provide food to those in need. They are reliable leaders in helping to feed people in Toronto and we’d like to congratulate all of their efforts and the impact they have on people’s lives every day.

From l to r: Sarah Diebel (Daily Bread board member), Leticia Jonayon (Friends of Jesus Christ, Canada Food Bank Ministry) and Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director).

From l to r: Sarah Diebel (Daily Bread board member), Leticia Jonayon (Friends of Jesus Christ, Canada Food Bank Ministry) and Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director).

Partner Award:  Toronto Professional Fire Fighters

The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters have shown commitment and outstanding leadership! Every member of their team is already a hero in our city but they are also heroes for Daily Bread. Thanks to their generosity and support Daily Bread would face a big gap in our link to the community and in providing enough food to both our agencies and the food programs we support.

These leaders in our community and their fire stations have already collected over one million pounds of food. They’ve also run their own annual event since 2010 called The Starkman Cup Trivia Challenge and through that have raised $80,000. But, their support doesn’t stop there. This group also supports our other events and have collaborated by helping to create awareness across the city and through the donation of their time at some of Daily Bread’s third-party events.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than when a five-year-old has a little bag with soup cans in their hands and we have to lift him up so they can put it the box…It’s extremely gratifying to work with Daily Bread,” said Frank Ramagnano as he accepted the award on behalf of Toronto Fire Services and the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association.

From l to r: Sarah Diebel (Daily Bread board member),  Frank Ramagnano (President of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters' Association) and Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director).

From l to r: Sarah Diebel (Daily Bread board member), Frank Ramagnano (President of the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association) and Gail Nyberg (Daily Bread executive director).

To see more photos from this year’s Best in Class, check out the album on our Facebook page by clicking here.

 

 

 

 


Date Added: May 7, 2015 | Comments Off on Congratulations to this year’s Best in Class winners | Filed under: Blog,Fundraising Events,Member Agencies,News — Sarah @ 1:49 pm



Ontario Budget 2015

Holding steady, but more needs to be done to reduce poverty

On April 23, the provincial government released its latest budget. Back in February as part of the Ontario government’s 2015 Pre-Budget Consultations, Daily Bread submitted its recommendations which sought to move the yardsticks on poverty reduction, while also set the ground work for a modern income security system. A number of these recommendations were based on some of those brought forward in the Brighter Prospects report published in 2012, which was a large-scale review of the social assistance system in Ontario.

Despite the fiscal pressures faced by the Province, the 2015 budget held steady on investments in poverty reduction already made. While social assistance rates were marginally increased, there was also a significant top-up in the monthly income rate for single adults receiving Ontario Works. Additionally, the Ontario Child Benefit has been indexed to annual increases in the Consumer Price Index. However more work needs to be done to ensure that low-income Ontarians can live in good health and dignity, as well as move toward a modern income security system that supports people’s transitions to employment and improves their financial security.

Increased rates for single people without children receiving Ontario Works

Single-person households experience very deep levels of poverty: they receive proportionately lower incomes from Ontario Works and are more likely than other households to need a food bank. Daily Bread commends the Province for the added top-up to the Ontario Works rate for single adults, for a total increase of $25 dollars per month. This top-up brings the single rate from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of the $100 dollar increase recommended by the Brighter Prospects report in 2012.

As the Province proceeds with its social assistance reform, it should work towards developing a methodology for rate levels that ensure all households can afford basic needs.

Next steps: Increasing Ontario Works asset levels, reduce withdrawal rates for child support and replacing rent scales in Rent Geared to Income housing

Daily Bread’s pre-budget submission also put forward several recommendations that were not announced in the budget, but we hope will be incorporated in the near-term. These include:

Moving forward: A Housing Benefit for Ontario

Lack of affordable housing is a key driver of food bank use, especially in cities like Toronto. In the GTA food bank clients spend, on average, 71 per cent of their income on rent and utilities. In addition, low-income households are increasingly being pushed to the outer areas of the city or out of the city entirely due to cost of living.

Back in 2008, Daily Bread, along with a coalition of partners[1], proposed a Housing Benefit that would be paid directly to tenants, and would help low income households better afford their housing whether they were receiving social assistance or working.

As the social assistance review process was underway in 2012, the idea of a housing benefit was explored. The Housing Benefit addressed areas of income security the Commission responsible for the Brighter Prospects report saw as important areas of focus, and recommended further public discussion about the design of the benefit and different ways to implement it.

While we didn’t expect the inclusion of a housing benefit in the 2015 budget, we would still like to see a commitment to examine and design a housing benefit as the province moves towards a more substantial reformation of social assistance. It was encouraging to see a section exploring housing supplements in the recently released Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy consultation paper. Moving forward, it is hoped that the idea of a housing benefit is among other core recommendations to increase access to affordable housing for vulnerable households.

 

 

 

 

[1] Including the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario, Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, Greater Toronto Apartment Association, Metcalf Foundation, and Atkinson Foundation.


Date Added: April 30, 2015 | Comments Off on Ontario Budget 2015 | Filed under: Blog,Government,News,Policy,Research — Tags: , , , — Sarah @ 12:32 pm



Spring Drive has ended!

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.


Date Added: April 13, 2015 | Comments Off on Spring Drive has ended! | Filed under: Blog,News,Spring Drive — Sarah @ 3:38 pm



It’s National Volunteer Week!

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 DSC_0257volunteering, 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!


Date Added: | Comments Off on It’s National Volunteer Week! | Filed under: Blog,News,Volunteer — Tags: , , , — Sarah @ 10:26 am



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