About Charity Intelligence – July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

About Charity Intelligence

Just as a financial analyst researches potential stocks to find the best investment opportunities, Charity Intelligence uses similar research methods to find exceptional charities for donors. Charity Intelligence also helps donors create a balanced giving portfolio to best reflect their giving interests and the change they hope to achieve. As a result, donors have the tools they need to give better and get higher returns on their donations – donations based on evidence.

This means that more of what donors can afford to give goes toward making a difference. Charity Intelligence’s analysis goes beyond plain subjectivity or narrow financial analysis to dig deeper to arrive at those charities proven to be the best in their field: not just ‘do gooders’ but ‘good doers’, too

Daily Bread Food Bank is proud to be a Charity Intelligence top rated charity.

About Daily Bread Food Bank

Daily Bread Food Bank works towards long-term solutions to end hunger and poverty and runs innovative programs to support individuals living on low income and experiencing food insecurity. Daily Bread distributes fresh and shelf-stable food, and fresh-cooked meals to 126 member agencies and 189 food programs across Toronto. Daily Bread also publishes the influential Who’s Hungry report – an annual survey measuring trends in food insecurity and poverty in Toronto to educate the public and spark policy change.

Take a tour of our facility!


Our Vision:  End hunger in our city.

Our Mission:  We collaborate with all to eliminate food insecurity and advocate for solutions to end poverty.

Our Values:

  • Rights-based: We believe that food is a human right.
  • Evidence-based: Our actions are informed by evidence and form impactful solutions.
  • Creative: We continuously pursue new and refined solutions to serve the needs of our communities.
  • Equitable: We embrace diversity of thought and actions and prioritize the voices of those affected by poverty.
  • Accountable: Commitments we make are commitments we keep.

Rights-Based Approach to Food

At Daily Bread, we believe that food is a human right, not a privilege. No one should go hungry or face barriers to accessing food. Our Rights-Based approach to food distribution means that we are committed to the following:

  • Providing low-barrier service as well as a choice of nutritious and culturally appropriate food at all food programs. We do not require documentation at food programs. We will facilitate access to food to anyone who needs it, regardless of circumstance, and enable food choice whenever possible.
  • Providing respectful and dignified customer service at all food programs. We will foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.
  • Empowering and prioritizing the people we serve. Our decisions will take into account the lived experience of the individuals we serve.
  • Advocating for the realization of the Right to Food. We will collaborate with groups and individuals to affirm food as a human right through robust advocacy for policies that encourage government bodies to act on the root causes of poverty.
  • Fostering a culture that reflects Rights-Based Approach principles and embedding practices in our ways of operating. From the Board of Directors, leadership, employees to member agencies, we will apply a rights-based lens to our work from governance, strategy, planning, delivery, and evaluation.
  • Embracing evidence-based decision making across the organization. We will leverage data, client input, and feedback in decision making processes, and leverage insights to continuously improve our programs, services, and operations.

Click here to learn about Daily Bread’s 2021-2024 Strategic Plan.

Food Insecurity and the Impact of COVID-19

Food is enshrined in the International Declaration of Human Rights. Yet despite having signed on to this international agreement, over four million Canadians are food insecure.

Last year, there were 1.45 million visits to food banks in Toronto – the highest number ever recorded in the city’s history. This represents a 47% increase compared to the previous year, and is 1.5 higher than the previous record set in 2010 at the peak of the 2008 recession.

For the first time, new clients accessing Toronto food banks outnumbered existing clients, with a 61% increase compared to the year prior. Food bank clients are experiencing severe food insecurity and living in a state of deep poverty.

  • In June 2022, Daily Bread member food banks saw 170,000+ client visits. Pre-COVID, this number was approximately 60,000 per month. 
  • One in three respondents did not eat for a whole day. For 52% of those respondents, this occurred almost every month.
  • Food bank respondents had a median income of $1,106 per month, which is only about half of Toronto’s poverty line of $2,060 per month.
  • Clients spend a median of 68% of their income on housing, putting them at high risk for becoming homeless.
  • After paying rent and utilities, food bank clients had only $9.17 left per person, per day to afford food, transportation, and all other basic needs. If a food bank client takes two TTC trips, traveling to work and returning home, they would be left with only $2.77 at the end of the day.
  • Racialized respondents had only $6.67 left per person, per day after paying for rent and utilities, demonstrating the economic inequities faced in these communities.

Did you know…

  • 1 in 5 people in Toronto are food insecure. [source]
  • 1 in 5 adults live in poverty in Toronto. [source]
  • 1 in 4 children live in poverty in Toronto. [source]
  • 4.4 million Canadians are food insecure. [source]
  • 1.2 million children in Canada are food insecure. [source]

Daily Bread is committed to meeting the emergency food needs of our communities, while advocate for long-term, systemic solutions to end poverty – the root cause of hunger.

Hunger is a symptom of poverty. It is a public policy issue that cannot be outsourced to charity. Realizing the right to food means that our federal, provincial, and municipal governments are responsible for creating an environment in which people have the physical and economic means and agency to access adequate food.

Programs and Services

Daily Bread is a member-based organization providing food to 189 food programs at 123 agencies across Toronto, including: 

  • Meal programsserve a sit-down, prepared lunch or dinner to their communities.  
  • Food bank programs: distribute up to 3 days of grocery items (fresh and canned) to their communities. Most programs are open weekly and clients can go to any food bank once every week. 
  • Snack programs: serve portable snack items that are quick and easy to eat (ie. granola bars, cookies). 
  • Tenant programs: are tenant-led, distributing grocery items (mostly shelf-stable items) to members within their specific community.  
  • Breakfast programs: serve a sit-down light breakfast to their community.  
  • Pre-natal programs: distribute grocery items (fresh and canned) to expecting parents and those with children 5 and under, within their specific community.  

In addition, Daily Bread provides information and referrals to connect clients to services such as dental and vision care, mental health, housing supports, newcomer settlement services, employment supports.   

Daily Bread also provides a variety of training programs to our network of member agencies, including safe food handling, information and referral services, crisis prevention and anti-oppression practices.  


New Community Meal Program at 191 New Toronto Street: 

Last November, Daily Bread introduced a weekly Community Meal Program to serve the South Etobicoke community. Operating from our distribution centre at 191 New Toronto Street, this new program runs weekly on Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:00pm.

This Community Meal program provides nourishing, warm meals to families and individuals experiencing hunger, and those who may not benefit from traditional food bank service due to lack of access to a kitchen, cooking tools, or other barriers to food preparation.

Alongside a nourishing dinner—and as part of a rights-based approach to service—this program also provides information and referrals services for guests who experience hardships beyond hunger and would benefit from additional resources relating to housing, employment and more.

Demographics of Food Bank Clients in Toronto

Based on client food bank visits between April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021, tracked in Link2Feed.

Food Distribution

In 2021, Daily Bread distributed nearly 17 million pounds of food – a 30% increase compared to the previous year.  



Research and Advocacy

Conducting in-depth, timely research is critical to Daily Bread Food Bank’s mission. Our advocacy strategy focuses in four key areas:

  1. Tackling deep poverty: Ensuring no one faces long-lasting, persistent poverty.
  2. Affordable housing: Ensuring a safe, affordable, adequate home for all.
  3. Economic and social resiliency: Ensuring resiliency to long-term chronic stresses (e.g., mental health, disability, social isolation) as well as acute shocks (e.g., job loss, eviction).
  4. Food Access: Ensuring that people have access to affordable, culturally appropriate, nutritious food.

Each year, Daily Bread develops key research projects to advocate for systemic change to end poverty. Here are a few highlights:

Position statements:

Click here to review our policy submissions.

Hunger is a symptom of poverty – it is a public policy issue that requires public policy solutions. We are committed to collaborating with all levels of government to push for long-term, systemic change.

Key Learnings

Client Preferences Survey:

Daily Bread Food Bank follows a Rights-Based approach to food distribution and service. We believe that client voices should inform organizational decisions. As part of our 2024 Strategic Goals, we will be undertaking a transformation to align our food procurement / distribution with client preferences where possible.

The objective of this survey is to gather information from member agencies about their community’s food needs, and analyze the quantitative and qualitative research to help us make informed decisions about the foods Daily Bread should be procuring.

Over 1,000 clients at 31 food banks were asked to complete an in-person survey.


Canada’s Food Guide Servings Project:

The latest Canada’s Food Guide, released in January 2019, is an updated, evidence-based eating plan created by Health Canada to help Canadians make healthy food choices. However, it does not provide guidance around the numbers of daily servings in a balanced plate and this makes it challenging for Daily Bread Food Bank to procure food in proportions that meet the 2019 Canada’s Food Guide recommendations. The Canada’s Food Guide Servings Project supports Daily Bread’s commitment to providing nourishing food that aligns with public health recommendations and provides context for which foods and beverages to procure, prioritize and distribute.

This report addresses three specific project goals to guide Daily Bread’s strategy around the amounts, types and proportions of foods to procure and distribute.

  1. The creation of a general model that approximates the intent of the 2019 Canada’s Food Guide in the metric of servings per day.
  2. Review Daily Bread’s “primary/core” food categories (grains, dairy, protein, vegetables and fruit) to ensure current product offerings are providing the best nutritional quality and make recommendations on healthy product offerings and alternatives. Additionally, review Daily Bread’s secondary categories to rate nutritional value and to identify products that are recommended to not be distributed.
  3. Make recommendations about preferred food mix and format within food categories.

The recommendations in the report apply to both purchased foods / planned procurement, as well as donated foods.


Cold Chain Temperature Study:

This study was completed to assess all the steps in Daily Bread’s cold chain and ensure the highest quality control when it comes to temperature storage requirements for various food products. New and innovative strategies were developed to ensure continuous improvement current processes.

This study provided insights in the following areas:

  • Risk mitigation: Regulatory compliance, customer safety and waste reduction.
  • Freshness assessment: Monitoring and sustaining product integrity.
  • General operating procedures: Monitoring temperature and humidity data.

Volunteers at Daily Bread

Volunteers are essential to Daily Bread’s day-to-day operations. Last year, our incredible volunteers contributed 488,891 hours of service to Daily Bread. These committed individuals help to sort and pack millions of pounds of food, work in our food bank, help prepare nutritious meals in our kitchen and keep our warehouse running smoothly.


To review our 2021 Annual Report and audited financial statements, click here