Unprecedented Job Losses Risk Pushing More Canadians into Food Insecurity - Daily Bread Food Bank
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Unprecedented Job Losses Risk Pushing More Canadians into Food Insecurity

May 27, 2020

Statistics Canada’s recent labour force survey presents a bleak picture. Almost 2 million jobs were lost in April alone. 

The magnitude of job losses is unprecedented. Since February, employment has declined by 15.7 percent, compared to a decline of only 5.4% during the 1981-1982 recession.  

Employment Changes During Notable Economic Downturns 

What is most concerning is that these job losses have been felt most acutely by people with lower-wage, more precarious work. Among employees who earn less than $16/hour, the rate of job loss has been an astounding 38%.

Prior to the pandemic, 4.4 million Canadians were experiencing food insecurity. Two thirds of these households received their income from employment, yet they were still unable to afford sufficient food to meet the needs of their households.

According to a poll of Canadians in late March, one in three said they could not manage an unexpected $100 expense. Given the unprecedented job losses currently being experienced, it is no wonder that one in eight Canadians are worried they will need to rely on a food bank in the near future.

The Canadian government has rightfully implemented a number of income supports to help tide people over financially during the pandemic and the associated economic crisis.

Close to 8 million people have applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), which provides $2,000 per month for Canadians who are unemployed, have had their hours reduced significantly, or are unable to work due to COVID-19.

Undoubtedly, this benefit is providing invaluable help to many families.

But when we consider the cost of living in Toronto, the CERB falls short in meeting people’s basic needs. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto is $1,371. For someone receiving $2,000 in income supports from CERB, 69% of that income would go towards paying rent, leaving little to afford all of life’s other necessities. For those who lack savings to get them through this difficult financial time, accessing a food bank may be the only way to make ends meet.

Food banks are on the front lines of emergency food assistance. Investments from both the federal and provincial government have enabled food banks across Canada to ramp up emergency food distribution while also ensuring adherence to public health guidelines.

Without this emergency food access, many Canadians would be forced to skip meals or reduce their food consumption, leading to a host of health problems, including increased risk for chronic diseases.

However, as we move from crisis response to planning for the country’s economic recovery, we have an opportunity to tackle the root cause of food insecurity: poverty.

Income supports and rent assistance have played a crucial role in responding to the immediate crisis, but these financial supports must be maintained even as we begin re-opening the economy.  Income is the number on driver of food insecurity, and income security must drive our recovery plans.

Monetary Donations

You can support our ongoing efforts in providing food to those who need it most during this challenging time.


Online Food Donations

Order online from your favourite grocery store and have items delivered directly to our warehouse:
191 New Toronto Street, Toronto, ON, M8V 2E7.

Drop-off Food Donations

You can drop off non-perishable food donations at any fire hall in the city.

Click here for a list of our most needed items.

Online Fundraising

You can run an online fundraiser in support of Daily Bread. It’s easy and you can do it while #stayinghome
Click here to set up your custom donation page.

Questions? Click here for a list of FAQs.

If you need food support, click here.

Past Announcements

Paid Sick Days Are Essential to Protecting Workers

April 22, 2021

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New Toronto Street Food Bank Responds to the Second Lockdown

January 20, 2021

Back in the spring when COVID-19 hit, we were fortunate that the weather was warm,… Read More

Health and safety of migrant workers: Considerations for the 2021 growing season

January 8, 2021

Migrant farm workers comprise 42% of Ontario’s agricultural workers and are essential to… Read More

Daily Bread Food Bank Webinar - Beyond COVID-19: Building a Future Without Poverty

December 10, 2020

Daily Bread Food Bank released our annual Who’s Hungry report, a cornerstone of Daily Bread’s… Read More

Rising Cost of Groceries Increases Risk of Food Insecurity

December 9, 2020

According to the latest Canada Food Price Report, Canadian families can expect… Read More

Agency Spotlight: Grace Place

November 10, 2020

When COVID-19 hit Toronto, and lines of people began waiting for food in front of… Read More

Daily Bread Food Bank Meal Program Update

November 10, 2020

Part of Daily Bread Food Bank’s revised strategy to continue to meet… Read More

Updates to our New Toronto Street Food Bank

November 10, 2020

Daily Bread Food Bank believes that food is a human right and we have adopted a … Read More