Feed Ontario Impact Report 2021-22
Growing the table for all Ontarians
A message from our outgoing and incoming Chairs
"Together, we continued to create space at the table for Ontario’s diverse communities with more food staples, capacity building, education and training, as well as research and tools to help achieve an Ontario where no one goes hungry."
Who we are
From securing fresh and healthy food sources, to driving change through policy research and innovative programming, Feed Ontario unites food banks, industry partners, and local communities in our work to end hunger and poverty.
2021-22 in numbers
pounds of food delivered to food banks across Ontario
adults, seniors, and children accessed a food bank in Ontario
visits to a food bank in Ontario
invested in innovative local programs and the food bank network
hunger-relief organizations working together
postcards calling for affordable housing sent to MPPs
FeedON: Increasing access to food staples
With your support, we FeedON by providing food banks with fresh food and pantry staples throughout the year so that every Ontarian has access to the food they need.
Growing access to good food
Following a truly extraordinary year in 2020, Feed Ontario focused on building sustainability, capacity, and effectiveness in our year-round food programming in 2021-22. Listening to feedback from food banks and individuals, we focused on the core challenges communities faced.
In response to ongoing pandemic-related challenges and growing affordability issues, 44% more food was distributed last year than in the year leading up to the pandemic. This year, Feed Ontario put a stronger focus on non-perishable and pantry staples to help food banks ensure no family went without basics like pasta, rice, cereal, and more.
Fresh Food Programs continued to receive important investments, with 49% of all food distributed in 2021-22 being fresh or frozen. Provincial partners from the milk, egg, chicken, beef, pork, and turkey industries provided 3.5 million pounds of high-quality, Ontario raised and processed protein and dairy. To ensure that food banks in northern, remote, areas of the province benefit from these Fresh Food Programs without additional transportation costs, a new Northern Food Subsidy Pilot was launched.
Fresh food programs in partnership with local farmers
servings of poultry
litres of milk
servings of eggs
servings of pork
servings of turkey
servings of beef
Serving communities across Ontario
With 141 direct member food banks and 1,100 affiliate hunger-relief agencies, your support of Feed Ontario ensures that people facing hunger in every corner of the province have access to good food.
From Kenora to Toronto, Windsor to Ottawa, and large and small towns in between, together, we Feed Ontario.
Feed Possibility: Cultivating capacity
Your generous support helps feed possibility by investing in food bank training, knowledge sharing, and innovative programming for people facing hunger.
Food transformation programs
Farm to Food
A unique food transformation program, Farm to Food rescues excess vegetables from farms and turns them into nutritious meals for people facing hunger. In partnership with UHC- Hub of Opportunities (our member food bank in Windsor) and Food Banks Canada, the program serves hunger-relief agencies throughout Ontario. In 2021-22 we continued to work with farms and food producers on this ground-breaking program which has, to date, achieved:
- 600,000 pounds of food collected
- 2.5 million meals prepared and distributed to families facing hunger
- 100 tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions avoided
- 80 million litres of water wastage avoided
One More Bite
In partnership with METRO Ontario, One More Bite provides food banks in Ontario with the opportunity to receive rescued fresh food from their local METRO and Food Basics grocery stores to distribute to adults and children living with hunger in their communities. In 2021-22, even more stores and food banks joined the program:
- 56 food banks rescued food
- 222 stores donated to food banks
- 2.6 million pounds of food rescued
The Feeding Possibility! grant was created to respond to the needs of food banks to help improve the overall capacity and resiliency of the Feed Ontario network. Projects are tied to Feed Ontario’s Standards of Care Framework, with the aim of helping food banks provide best-in-class service to their visitors and communities. In 2021-22:
- 22 food banks received funding
- 164,841 individuals were served
- $594,335 was invested in food bank projects
As food banks across the province increase the availability of fresh and healthy foods, many of the projects focused on improvement and security of cold storage facilities including refrigeration, generators, and cold storage vehicles.
Projects which improved accessibility of food and other programming offered at local food banks by modifying physical spaces, introducing new technology, and developing new programs and services were also a core focus in 2021.
Northern Food Strategy
In 2021-22, Feed Ontario began work on a Northern Food Strategy, starting with an assessment of resources and existing infrastructure available in Northern Ontario.
In its early stages, this research has led to new investments that support Feed Ontario’s northern member food banks, including the launch of a new milk and beef subsidy pilot program, training opportunities, capacity grants, and new research partnerships with The Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education and Training Institute.
Five new food bank members from Northern Ontario also joined our network over the last year.
Virtual conference: Better Together
In June 2021, Feed Ontario held its annual conference, "Better Together." As in 2020, the conference was virtual, and spoke to the collective strength and resilience of Ontario's food bank network.
Over the two day conference, we engaged 134 attendees and 31 speakers in sessions spanning two themes:
Reflect: Workshops and plenaries focused on giving delegates the tools their food banks need to ensure they were prepared for challenges that lay ahead, as well as having crucial discussions about how food banks can help usher in long-term change. This included sessions on basic income, racial justice, emergency planning, inventory management, and a rights-based model of food banking.
Recharge: To ensure a sense of human connection in our virtual conference, we included a fun and interactive paint social, four wellness breaks that focused on self-care and movement, and an appreciation reception to thank our food bankers for all their hard work.
Food Bank Education & Training
The accessibility of the food bank sector within communities across the province often means they respond to a wide variety of complex situations and issues. To support food banks in creating and maintaining diverse, inclusive, and safe spaces, Feed Ontario provided members with new supports and education, including a diversity, equity, and inclusion webinar series. A six-part training series for Link2Feed, the visitor intake system used by Feed Ontario food banks to collect food bank usage data, was also provided to member food banks to help realize our goal of ending hunger and poverty in Ontario.
Feed Change: Advocating for evidence-based solutions
With your support, we feed change through research, collective action, and by advocating for evidence-based solutions that address food insecurity and poverty.
The 2021 Hunger Report provided an analysis of food bank use trends across Ontario, revealing the largest single-year increase in food bank use since the 2008 financial crisis.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted food bank use, an accumulation of several income insecurity trends over recent years are the primary drivers of growth in food bank visits. Findings from a special survey of people who identified as having a disability and the impact the pandemic had on their wellbeing was also included.
The report highlighted that although food banks provide a wide range of supports and services and are working hard to fill the gap created by income insecurity and decreased affordability in Ontario, they are not a solution to food insecurity or poverty.
Report highlights include:
- 10% increase in the number of individuals accessing a food bank in Ontario, the largest single year increase since 2009.
- Senior citizens are nearly twice as likely to access a food bank than those under 65 years of age, a number that has grown by 36% since last year.
- 60% of survey respondents who self-identified as having a disability have less than $100 left each month after paying for housing and utilities.
- 91% of food banks provide programming and services beyond emergency food support.
Hunger Action Month
2021 marked the fifth year of Hunger Action Month in Ontario, a campaign that takes place during the month of September to raise awareness of hunger in our communities, and encourage the public and government to take action on hunger in four key ways: Educate, Advocate, Volunteer, and Donate. Last year’s Hunger Action Month focused on the housing crisis, exploring why housing is so unaffordable and how this affects food bank use, as well as work we can do to create solutions. Activities in September 2021 included:
- A virtual MPP breakfast about housing precarity: Five speakers, including two food bank visitors, from across the province spoke about their lived experience with housing precarity; the value of affordable housing programs; and how the housing crisis is driving rising food bank use. 20 MPPs representing all political parties attended.
- A postcard campaign that urged MPPs to close the housing gap: food banks and visitors sent nearly 10,000 postcards to MPPs throughout the province.
- A Day of Action: food banks across the province met with their local MPPs to talk about their community priorities and the need for poverty reduction. Training on the best way to talk to MPPs was provided.
Partnering with government on solutions to hunger
In a continued effort to end hunger and poverty in the province, Feed Ontario engaged with the provincial government and local communities to be the voice for our province’s most vulnerable. In addition to advocacy projects during Hunger Action Month and network training, throughout the year we:
- Met with elected officials and ministry staff to discuss food bank use in the province and our recommendations to feed change. This included participating in a round-table discussion for Bill C-273: National Strategy for a Basic Income.
- Submitted recommendations to the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee and Ontario's budget consultations for inclusion in the 2022-23 Ontario Budget.
- Launched the Hunger in My Riding tool, allowing website visitors to create custom reports on food bank use and poverty in their electoral riding and community.
- Implemented three postcard campaigns calling for greater investments in affordable housing in Ontario, rent relief, and to increase awareness of food bank use in Ontario.
- Collaborated with Defend Disability to produce recommendations around Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) changes.
Feeding the future
By working together, our vision to end hunger and poverty in Ontario is possible
30 years of feeding communities
Over the coming year, Feed Ontario will mark its 30th anniversary. While 30 years is a noteworthy milestone, and Ontario’s food bank network has achieved many incredible things during this time, the ongoing existence and need for food banks is not something to celebrate.
Food banks began as a temporary, stop-gap measure to help families struggling to put food on the table as a result of a recession. We were never intended to still be here 30 years later. And we hope we won’t be needed in another 30 years.
That’s why Feed Ontario’s 30th Anniversary will be an unCelebration.
We will mark our anniversary.
Recognize the incredible achievements of our network of food banks and partners – like you.
And reaffirm our commitment to end the need for food banks in Ontario.
Working together, each dollar goes further
Thank you to all the incredible people and organizations who give their time, products, services, and financial support to Feed Ontario. You help make feeding Ontario possible!
Our partners in fighting hunger
Food & Consumer Product Partners
Thank you to our Food and Consumer Partners for helping us Feed Ontario!
Barilla Link opens a new window
Berryhill Farm Link opens a new window
Campbells Link opens a new window
The Canadian Shield Link opens a new window
Cardinal Meats Link opens a new window
Cargill Link opens a new window
Chosen Foods Link opens a new window
Emblem Link opens a new window
Erb Link opens a new window
Exeter Produce Link opens a new window
For Good Foundation Link opens a new window
Freiberger Link opens a new window
Green Giant Link opens a new window
Greenleaf Link opens a new window
Healthy Crunch Link opens a new window
Keurig Dr Pepper Link opens a new window
Kleen Freak Link opens a new window
Kraft Canada Link opens a new window
Made Good Link opens a new window
Mercex Brokerage and Trading Inc
Mill Creek Farms Link opens a new window
P&G Link opens a new window
Peak of the Market Link opens a new window
Pepsico Link opens a new window
Post Link opens a new window
S and B Foods Link opens a new window
Tim Hortons Link opens a new window
Unilever Link opens a new window
Whitecrest Mushrooms Link opens a new window
Transportation & Logistics Partners
Thank you to our transportation partners for helping us Feed Ontario!
Thank you to our financial partners for helping us Feed Ontario!
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada Link opens a new window
AMAPCEO Link opens a new window
Andrew Peller Limited Link opens a new window
Aqueduct Foundation Link opens a new window
Ashley Lawrence-Leger Medicine Professional Corporation
Berry Bush Farms Link opens a new window
Charities Aid Foundation of Canada Link opens a new window
Charm Diamon Centres Link opens a new window
CN Link opens a new window
Coast Capital Savings Link opens a new window
Compass Group Canada Link opens a new window
Doxim Inc. Link opens a new window
Dryden Regional Health Center Link opens a new window
Dynamic Funds Link opens a new window
EDPRO Energy Group Inc. Link opens a new window
Educators Financial Group Inc. Link opens a new window
Farm and Food Care Ontario Link opens a new window
Farm Credit Canada (Mississauga) Link opens a new window
Food and Allied Industry Golf Committee Link opens a new window
Food Banks Canada Link opens a new window
Forbes Veterinary Professional Corporation
Fowler Construction Company Ltd Link opens a new window
Glass Canvas Dental Studio Ltd Link opens a new window
Grenadier Foundation Link opens a new window
Hops Connect Link opens a new window
Hudson's Bay Company Link opens a new window
Intact Group Insurance Link opens a new window
Junior Farmers' Association of Ontario Link opens a new window
Juno Pharmaceuticals Corp Link opens a new window
Latitude Link opens a new window
Libro Credit Union Link opens a new window
Lifford Fine Wine & Spirits Link opens a new window
LMDG Building Code Consultants Ltd. Link opens a new window
Manulife Life Insurance Link opens a new window
MCAP Link opens a new window
McKinnon Metals Inc Link opens a new window
Minor Brothers Farm Supply Limited Link opens a new window
Minto Foundation Inc. Link opens a new window
Moody's Tax Law LLP Link opens a new window
Movieposters.com Link opens a new window
Muddy York Brewing Co. Link opens a new window
Municipal Finance Officers Association of Ontario Link opens a new window
New Life Mills- A Division of Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd. Link opens a new window
North City General Insurance Brokers Link opens a new window
Norwell Dairy Done Well Link opens a new window
Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association Link opens a new window
Ontario Health Link opens a new window
Ontario Municipal Taxation and Revenue Association Link opens a new window
Ontario Nurses Association Link opens a new window
Ontario Principals' Council Link opens a new window
Ontario State Council - The Knights of Columbus Link opens a new window
Ontario Traffic Council Link opens a new window
Ontario Water Works Association Link opens a new window
Open. A Creative Company Link opens a new window
PayPal Link opens a new window
Phoenix Group Link opens a new window
Precision Property Management Link opens a new window
Promotion in Motion Link opens a new window
R & M Lang Foundation
RBC Foundation Link opens a new window
Remembering Otto and Marie Pick Charitable Foundation
RGP Investments Link opens a new window
Sollio Agriculture Link opens a new window
The Cheesecake Factory Link opens a new window
The Norman and Margaret Jewison Charitable Foundation
Trouw Nutrition Canada Link opens a new window
UK Online Giving Foundation Link opens a new window
United Way Link opens a new window
Viper Info- Tech Solutions, Inc. Link opens a new window
Wallenstein Feed Charitable Foundation Link opens a new window
Wawanesa Assurance Link opens a new window
Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery & Distillery Link opens a new window
WeirFoulds LLP Link opens a new window
Whole Foods Market Link opens a new window
Thank you to our campaign partners!
Thank you to our 2022 Conference and Hunger Action Month Sponsors
Network of hunger fighters
Our small but mighty team is committed to supporting Ontario’s food banks and advocating for solutions to hunger and poverty.
416-656-4100 ext. 2935
Director, Network & Government Relations
416-656-4100 ext. 2932
Director of Development
416-656-4100 ext. 2937
Manager, Operations & Programs
416-656-4100 ext. 2934
Manager, Advocacy & Network Engagement
416-656-4100 ext. 2938
Manager, Member Relations
Manager, Marketing and Communications
416-656-4100 ext. 2941
Operations & Programs Coordinator
416-656-4100 ext. 2940
Communications, Project Manager
416-656-4100 ext. 1001
Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors is comprised of food bank leaders and industry professionals who shape Feed Ontario’s strategic direction.
The Mississauga Food Bank
Freight Managers Inc.
Sr. Finance & Accounting Consultant
North York Harvest
Burlington Food Bank
Manager, School Programs
Dairy Farmers of Ontario
Food Bank of Waterloo Region
Christine Clark Lafleur
Maureen A. Ford
Manager and strategic planning professional
Chief Executive Officer
Daily Bread Food Bank
Senior Policy Analyst and Team Lead
Canada Border Service Agency
Food Bank Manager/Board Co-Chair
Brockville & Area Food Bank
Director of Product Marketing
Thank you to our outgoing board members