Nov 30, 2023

The Slaight family tackles food insecurity with $10 million donation

At a time when food insecurity has reached crisis levels, the Slaight family is taking action to support thousands of Canadians facing hunger. This holiday season, a generous and impactful $10 million combined donation from both The Slaight Family Foundation and a personal donation from Gary and Donna Slaight will be distributed across the following six organizations, helping to provide food access to families and individuals in need.

  • Community Food Centres Canada
  • Daily Bread Food Bank
  • Food Banks Canada
  • Second Harvest
  • The Stop Community Food Centre
  • United Way Greater Toronto

Food inflation, skyrocketing housing costs, stagnating wages and insufficient income supports mean that more and more people are struggling to feed their families, themselves, and to make ends meet.

According to a study by PROOF, 6.9 million Canadians are living in food insecure households – this includes 1.8 million children. In the City of Toronto, one in ten people are having to make use of food banks – almost double the rate of last year. Additionally, after paying rent and utilities, food bank clients in Toronto have a median of just $6.67 left per person, per day to pay for food and all other essentials, which means that many times – they just don’t eat.

“The cost of living is outpacing my income, and I find myself making difficult choices every day,” said a 2023 Who’s Hungry survey respondent. While another expressed “My children are my priority, but I feel like I’m failing them because of our financial situation.”

Food is a human right. Every person should have the means to live in dignity and to access the food they need. Sadly, this is not the case. Food insecurity has become embedded in our communities – it has become a regular part of life for far too many. Collaborative and collective action is essential to ensure that anyone in need of food and nourishment has a place to turn.

“It is astonishing that the need for food continues to grow at such a rapid pace across the country,” said Gary Slaight. “This support from both our family and The Slaight Family Foundation will help these organizations during the coming weeks and months and we hope this may encourage others to give support for food security during this critical time.”

As a group of organizations working to support and strengthen our communities, Community Food Centres Canada, Daily Bread Food Bank, Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest, The Stop Community Food Centre, and United Way Greater Toronto, are deeply grateful to the Slaight family and The Slaight Family Foundation for their generosity and commitment to working in unison towards a hunger-free future.

Additional quotes:

“In order to meet the growing demand for emergency food services, Daily Bread Food Bank is now spending $22 million per year on food purchases, compared to $1.5 million pre-pandemic. As we continue to see crisis-level need across all food programs, we are deeply grateful to Gary and Donna Slaight and The Slaight Family Foundation for this much needed support that will directly impact thousands in our city.” Neil Hetherington, CEO, Daily Bread Food Bank

“As food insecurity skyrockets across the country, remote and Northern communities are at a crisis point. We are so grateful for this donation, which will allow Food Banks Canada to provide funding and supports to improve and expand services into underserved Northern communities with the goal of building community-led, sustainable food security initiatives.” Kirstin Beardsley, CEO, Food Banks Canada

“The Slaight family is an essential catalyst in keeping pace with the soaring demand for food charity in Toronto and across Canada. Their consistent and generous support is not just a lifeline for people facing food insecurity, but for the charitable food sector as a whole. Thanks to the Slaight family, thousands of individuals and families in Canada have a brighter and healthier future.” Lori Nikkel, CEO, Second Harvest

“The generous contribution from the Slaight family will play a crucial role in providing nourishment, hope, and sustenance to individuals and families in our West Toronto community. Beyond meeting immediate needs, this donation will bolster our community’s strength, and fortify our commitment to fostering a more secure and equitable future for all.” Shae London, Executive Director, The Stop Community Food Centre

“In times of escalating need, the generosity of Gary and Donna Slaight and The Slaight Family Foundation delivers hope for thousands of individuals and families grappling with hunger. This gift not only provides relief at a critical time, it also supports organizations that are building capacity and opportunity for individuals to flip the script on food insecurity. United Way Greater Toronto is honored to stand alongside these organizations, collectively creating a meaningful impact on the lives of those in our communities.” Daniele Zanotti, President and CEO, United Way Greater Toronto

About The Slaight Family Foundation

The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight and his son, Gary Slaight. Allan Slaight (1931-2021) was a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through his generosity, the Foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in the areas of healthcare, at-risk youth, international development, social services and culture. Gary Slaight oversees the foundation as President and CEO of The Slaight Family Foundation.

Click here to view our Media Release

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