Feb 11, 2020

Volunteers Help Collect Stories of Hunger in Toronto

Each year, Daily Bread Food Bank conducts and annual survey of food bank clients and publishes the findings in the Who’s Hungry report. Last year, we collected data from 1,400 clients, who shared their experiences of coping with food insecurity.

To conduct a survey of this scale, we rely on volunteers who go out to collect data at 51 food bank member agencies across Toronto. Last year, over 70 volunteers took part in this important initiative.

Volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds, including current and former food bank clients, university students, and working professionals who are committed to ending food insecurity in our city.  Volunteers complete a training session about how to properly conduct surveys and how to be a supportive listener for the clients who are sharing personal details of their lives.

For the volunteers, participating in data collection provides an opportunity to learn about the root causes of hunger, to see the impact of food banks, and to learn about research best practices.

The volunteer experience helped me be a more compassionate and enlightened member of the community while learning about the various ways poverty is impact people across the city.  It was also really nice to connect with people and learn about their different experiences.”

“The experiences I’ve had are memorable and positive and will last a lifetime. I got to know the various agency staff members and it really gave me a glimpse of how important a social safety net is.”

“I learned a lot. It was an eye-opening experience to talk with and discuss the many struggles individuals who have to access food banks face.”

“Conducting these surveys not only helps us understand who is struggling and why so we can better advocate for change, it also reminds me that there are so many people struggling from all walks of life. While challenging to hear their stories, it is that very challenge that reminds us just how deeply important it is to help Torontonians and people throughout Canada realize their right to food.”

These dedicated volunteers make it possible to capture the voices of food bank clients across the city as we advocate to end food insecurity and poverty.

Daily Bread is currently training this year’s cohort of volunteers who will begin conducting surveys at food banks across Toronto in March. The 2020 Who’s Hungry report will be released in fall, 2020.

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