On November 3, 2023, Daily Bread Food Bank celebrated the grand opening of its newest member agency, Hillcrest Community Food Bank. Although the event signified a strong community spirit, and willingness to support neighbours in need, it also emphasized that Toronto’s growing food insecurity crisis is showing no signs of slowing down.
Located at the intersection of Bathurst and Vaughan, Hillcrest Christian Church was selected as the home for the new food bank as it is nestled in an area experiencing high rates of demand. With local food banks stretched to their limit, the establishment of Hillcrest Community Food Bank serves as a strategic response to address the growing needs of the community.
The food bank is a collaboration between Hillcrest Christian Church, Hillcrest Community School and Daily Bread Food Bank, who provides food, training and support for volunteers as they establish the new program.
Church leadership and members dedicated a permanent space in the basement for the food bank, offering clients a dignified shopping experience within the newly arranged space, while students from the local school provide volunteer support stocking shelves, tracking inventory and preparing signage.
For Mia, a sixth-grade student from Hillcrest Community School, the experience of volunteering at the food bank has been eye opening.
“I was really excited to help out, because I like doing that, but it was really upsetting to know there are so many families that need food.”
The need for the new food bank was immediately apparent with client visits jumping from 50 families to nearly 200 in the first three weeks of opening.
“Today is a sad day, we have to open up a new food bank,” said Daily Bread Food Bank CEO Neil Hetherington. “Over the course of this past year, we’ve seen food bank usage grow at rates that are unprecedented.”
The collaboration between Daily Bread and Hillcrest Community Food Bank marks a significant milestone in extending support to those experiencing food insecurity. Partnerships like this would not be possible without the generosity of our donors and volunteers.
If you would like to support much needed programs like Hillcrest, click here to make your donation today.