Nov 14, 2023

Who’s Hungry: A call to action from a city in crisis

In partnership, Daily Bread Food Bank and North York Harvest Food Bank have released Who’s Hungry 2023 – an annual profile of food insecurity and poverty in Toronto.   

This year’s report illustrates the grim reality facing tens of thousands of Torontonians, with one in ten people in the city now relying on food banks, twice as many as the year prior.  

There were 2.53 million client visits to Toronto food banks in the last year – representing a 51% year over year increase – the highest annual increase ever reported. If usage continues at the current rate, we will be seeing three million visits by the end of this calendar year.   

Based on close to 1,400 food bank client surveys and 10 in-depth interviews, Who’s Hungry 2023 describes why skyrocketing housing costs, food inflation, stagnating wages, and insufficient income supports are pushing more and more households into poverty. The report also provides concrete recommendations to tackle Toronto’s growing food insecurity crisis. 

Key findings include: 

  • After paying rent and utilities, food bank clients have a median of $6.67 left per person, per day for food and all other necessities, this is a significant drop from $8.01 last year.  
  • Over 120,000 new individuals started using food bank services for the first time this past year – a 154% increase compared to the previous year. Of new clients, more than half (52%) have someone in their household that is employed. 
  • Close to one quarter (23%) of food bank clients spend 100% of their income on housing, leaving no money for other necessities, putting them at high risk of homelessness. 
  • Nearly 1 in 3 (31%) food bank clients went a whole day without eating and more than half (55%) of food bank clients missed a meal to pay for something else. 

Food insecurity is a public policy issue requiring public policy solutions. Your voice matters. Here are some steps you can take today: 

  • Read the Who’s Hungry 2023 report and share it with your family and friends to raise awareness about food insecurity and poverty in Toronto.  
  • The Government of Canada is currently designing the Canada Disability Benefit, which would have a significant impact on food insecurity, but we need your help to secure funding! Visit to send a letter to your Member of Parliament, asking them to #BudgetTheBenefit now. 
  • Share key findings on social media and help raise awareness about the issues and how to take action. Download our Media Kit here and be sure to tag @DailyBreadTO and use hashtag #WhosHungry2023 
  • Watch and share our video here to learn more about food insecurity and poverty and other actions you can take today to make an impact. 

We cannot stand by while hunger becomes a permanent fixture in our communities. The time to act is now. We cannot wait any longer. Let’s be loud, together.  

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