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Because hunger doesn't wait for policy change.


When was Daily Bread established and why?
Who does Daily Bread Food Bank serve and why?
How does Daily Bread Food Bank work?
What kinds of food programs does Daily Bread provide food to?
What kind of resources do you provide for hungry people?
How do we know people who visit food banks really need them?
How many volunteers are there and what type of work do they do?
How does Daily Bread raise funds and food?
How does Daily Bread spend money?
Why is research such an important part of Daily Bread’s work?
Does Daily Bread have a complaints policy?
Do you have an AODA plan?

When was Daily Bread established and why?

Early in 1983, a number of concerned people began meeting to look at how to address the escalating poverty and hunger in Toronto. After much deliberation and consultation, it was decided that a centralized organization to solicit and distribute food was needed. This organization, although incorporated, was meant to be temporary as the founding group would continue to press for changes in public policy to alleviate the problem of hunger. A driving force in the beginning was Sister Marie Tremblay, who was also the first Executive Director and a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, a Catholic order. Incorporation occurred in the fall and the first food was received at Christmas of 1983.

Who does Daily Bread Food Bank serve and why?

Daily Bread serves everyone who is in need of food assistance and does not have enough income or resources to put food on the table. Families, children, the working poor, people with disabilities, newcomers, single parents, social assistance recipients and people with low incomes.

For more information on who uses food banks in Toronto, please see our latest Who’s Hungry Report, a profile of hunger in Toronto.

How does Daily Bread Food Bank work?

Daily Bread Food Bank is a distribution hub that solicits, collects, sorts and distributes food through a network of food banks and other food relief programs based in Toronto. It is the GTA’s largest network of food relief programs for people who are struggling with hunger.
Daily Bread’s member agencies place food orders based on the number of people they serve. Daily Bread has a fleet of five trucks and drivers who deliver the food to the programs.

What kinds of food programs does Daily Bread provide food to?

Click here for a list of member agencies that Daily Bread provides food to.

Food programs fall into two categories:

1. Food banks, where clients receive a two to three day supply of unprepared, non-perishable food (often
supplemented with staples like bread, milk and vegetables). Food bank type programs include:

  • Neighbourhood food banks.
  • Tenant food programs: These member-run programs are operated for small communities, normally a building or group of buildings, where clients may be facing challenges getting to their regular neighbourhood food bank.
  • Food staples programs: Targeted for newcomers. Along with North American staples, clients receive food items they may be more familiar with cooking.
  • Prenatal programs: These hampers are for young expectant moms and include nutritious items like milk and fruit.
  • Mobile food bank: Elderly people and people with disabilities who experience mobility challenges have food delivered to them.

2. Meal programs, where clients who are usually marginally housed, receive prepared meals.
These programs include:

  • Hostels & shelters
  • Drop-in centres
  • Mobile food delivery for youth
  • School food programs for children living in low-income families also received prepared food.

What kind of resources do you provide for people at food programs?

People experiencing poverty and hunger are often facing a range of issues.  Providing food, while important, won’t address the reason people are coming to a food bank in the first place. Most Daily Bread member agencies provide additional programs and supports for people on low incomes including community kitchens, gardens, training and employment supports, cooking classes, advocacy groups and counseling and prenatal programs for expectant mothers, often in response to the unique needs of that agency’s neighbourhood.
Daily Bread is expanding its own Information and Referral Services program to other member agencies. In this program, clients receive information and advice from trained staff or volunteers on how to resolve issues such as housing, immigration, access to social benefits. Daily Bread also provides training in other areas to member agency staff and volunteers at food programs.

How do we know people who visit food banks really need them?

When someone asks for food from a neighbourhood food bank there is an intake interview to assess that person’s needs. We ask questions about the individual’s household composition, income, and demographic information that help us understand their challenges in addition to food insecurity. Asking clients about their situation gives us the opportunity to offer additional support and resources, and provides us with key demographic data on those living with low income. Based on the interview, clients may be able to access a food bank a maximum of once per week.

How many volunteers are there and what type of work do they do?

Daily Bread keeps salary costs down by having a large number of volunteers support our efforts in administrative positions, in our warehouse and sorting food. Over the course of a year we’ll have over 10,000 volunteers to help us ensure food and resources get to the people who need them.

How does Daily Bread raise funds and food?

  • Food & fund drives
  • Third party & other special events
  • Corporations & family and corporate foundations
  • Individual donations

You can make a difference! Click here to donate online.

Drop off non-perishable food donations throughout the year at your local fire hall or participating grocery store. Click here for a map of Toronto Fire Halls.

Run your own food or fund drive.

How does Daily Bread spend money?

Click here to download copies of Daily Bread’s Annual Report and Financial Statements here.

Click here to find out more about Daily Bread Food Bank’s Investment Policy.

  • Daily Bread purchases food when the type and quantity of food donations are not adequate.
  • Daily Bread has a fleet of five trucks to get food out to those in need.
  • Daily Bread also has 50 full-time staff to conduct its mission, as well as a large warehouse to maintain.
  • Daily Bread’s programs that receive funding include public education, research and advocacy support as well as member agency support.
  • Administrative costs include general and financial management, salaries, audit fees and governance expenses.
  • Fundraising costs include salaries, expenses to run events and public drives, and other tasks and projects required to raise money.
  • Program costs include the support necessary to maintain programs including salaries and resource materials along with providing resources and food to member agencies equitably

Why is research such an important part of Daily Bread’s work?

By gathering relevant statistics through an annual survey of food bank clients and community-based research, Daily Bread creates reports that increase public awareness and political responsiveness to the issues of hunger and poverty. Understanding the root causes of hunger allows us to offer realistic policy solutions to reduce it.
Daily Bread advocates for effective, innovative, and doable government policies that reduce poverty and improve income security for our clients. Daily Bread believes it has a responsibility to the people accessing food banks to work constructively with governments of all political views to achieve real policy results. We engage in community-based research to develop a strong fact base and involve the people we serve to ensure the voice of those with lived experience with poverty is present in all our work.
Find out more about Daily Bread’s work in research and public policy initiatives by clicking here to go to our Learning Centre.
Click here to download the latest Who’s Hungry report, a profile of hunger in the GTA, based on surveys with food bank clients across the GTA.

Does Daily Bread have a complaints policy?

Daily Bread Food Bank is committed to providing excellent service to its clients, meaningful experiences for its volunteers and value for its donors. However, in recognition that there will on occasion be concerns about our programs and services, we have implemented a Complaints Policy and Procedure. We value your input and would encourage you to take the time to provide feedback. Complaints should be directed to Daily Bread’s Manager of Human Resources at the following e-mail address:

Daily Bread Complaints Policy and Procedure 2018

Member Agency Complaints

Daily Bread Food Bank is committed to providing excellent programs and service. We recognize that from time to time there may be concerns or complaints about our member agencies and we believe that clients and stakeholders have the right to tell us about them and have them resolved.

Member Agency Complaint Resolution Policy and Procedure 2014

Do you have an AODA plan?

Yes. To read our Accessibility Standard for Customer Service, please click here to download a pdf version of the plan. If you have accessibility requirements and require this plan in another format, please contact