Logo - 30th Anniversary - Simple White

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

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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.

"Last month through our Partners in Mission Food Bank in Kingston I received your Farm to Food bell pepper soup.  It was delicious and my grandson loved it so much. He is 4 years old and a very picky eater but kept saying how delicious this soup is"

Visitor, Partners in Mission Food bank - Kingston

2021-22 in numbers

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pounds of food delivered to food banks across Ontario

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adults, seniors, and children accessed a food bank in Ontario

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visits to a food bank in Ontario

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invested in innovative local programs and the food bank network

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hunger-relief organizations working together

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postcards calling for affordable housing sent to MPPs

"Longo’s is dedicated to fueling happy and healthier lives, and our partnership with Feed Ontario is one of the ways we can help families meet their needs. Everyone deserves access to nutritious, quality food and with the support of Feed Ontario we can assist our communities facing food insecurity challenges by providing pantry staples"

Christie Contini, Community Relations - Longo's

FeedON: Increasing access to food staples

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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.

Total food distribution

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Food distributed by category 2021-22

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Fresh food programs in partnership with local farmers

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servings of poultry

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litres of milk

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servings of eggs

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servings of pork

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Image of a turkey

servings of turkey

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servings of beef

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How FeedON works

Safely moving food across our vast province is no easy feat. With the incredible support of our network of partners, volunteers, and organizations, we were able to distribute more than 8.1 million pounds of nutritious food to all corners of Ontario throughout the year. Here’s how our FeedON distribution network works:

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ACQUIRE

Feed Ontario works with our many agricultural, industry, and retail partners to acquire discounted and donated food, including much-needed milk, eggs, meat, fruit, and vegetables.

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COORDINATE

Food offers are sent to Feed Ontario food banks via our Smarter Needs Allocation Program (SNAP). Food banks submit requests and food is shared equitably based on need, number of people served, and past food allocations.

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TRANSPORT

With the help of Feed Ontario's transportation partners, food is transported to food banks in every corner of our vast province.

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RECEIVE

Feed Ontario member food banks in 141 communities across Ontario receive the food to share through affiliate food banks, meal programs, and partner organizations.

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SHARE

Dedicated staff and volunteers at 1,200 hunger-relief organizations share the food with nearly 600,000 people facing hunger, who make over 3.6 million visits annually.

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.

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“The Erb Group of Companies values our longstanding partnership with Feed Ontario. Giving back and supporting our community partners is at the core of our company’s vision. Specializing in the transport of refrigerated goods, we understand the value of food and the importance of “bringing food to your family’s table”. Feed Ontario is making great strides to combat food insecurity across Ontario, and we are always happy to lend a helping hand.”

Dave Dietrich, VP of People and Culture, The Erb Group of Companies

Feed Possibility: Cultivating capacity

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Your generous support helps feed possibility by investing in food bank training, knowledge sharing, and innovative programming for people facing hunger.

Food transformation programs

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Farm to Food

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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

 

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One More Bite

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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

 

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Community programs

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Feeding Possibility!

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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

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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.

Conference Banner 2021

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.

Portrait of senior Asian woman wearing face mask received crate of food during pandemic

"Support from Feed Ontario helped us understand that we were not in this alone. Knowing that our frontline work is recognized and supported locally, provincially, and federally, reassures us that the challenges and impact of what we do each day are both important and relevant."

Betty-Lou Souter, Executive Director - Community Care St. Catharines & Thorold

Feed Change: Advocating for evidence-based solutions

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With your support, we feed change through research, collective action, and by advocating for evidence-based solutions that address food insecurity and poverty.

Hunger Report

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.

"[I donate because] food security is becoming more and more of a prevalent issue and my monthly donation is something that is easy enough to do."

Feed Ontario Monthly Donor

Feeding the future

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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.

African-American woman holds bag full of groceries at home

“At Hydro One, we feel a deep responsibility to support the organizations working tirelessly to keep communities safe and healthy. We are proud to support Feed Ontario as they prepare for increased demand for emergency food. Feed Ontario has been a strong voice in the fight against hunger and together we are building a brighter future in communities across the province.”

Jason Fitzsimmons, Chief Corporate Affairs and Customer Care Officer, Hydro One

Working together, each dollar goes further

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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!

Revenue

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Expenses

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Our partners in fighting hunger

Fresh Food Partners

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Thank you to our Fresh Food Partners for helping us Feed Ontario!

    Financial Partners

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    Thank you to our financial partners for helping us Feed Ontario!

    Network of hunger fighters

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    Staff

    Our small but mighty team is committed to supporting Ontario’s food banks and advocating for solutions to hunger and poverty.

    Carolyn Stewart

    Executive Director

    416-656-4100 ext. 2935

    Amanda King

    Director, Network & Government Relations

    416-656-4100 ext. 2932

    Rachel Dixon

    Director of Development

    416-656-4100 ext. 2937

    Adelaide Wimpenny

    Manager, Operations & Programs

    416-656-4100 ext. 2934

    Ashley Quan

    Manager, Advocacy & Network Engagement

    416-656-4100 ext. 2938

    Erin Waddington

    Manager, Member Relations

    807-630-4727 ext.

    Andrea Waters

    Manager, Marketing and Communications

    416-656-4100 ext. 2941

    Shanade Thomas

    Operations & Programs Coordinator

    416-656-4100 ext. 2940

    Sonja Kovacev

    Communications, Project Manager

    416-656-4100 ext. 1001

    Jakob Manton

    Development Coordinator

    416-656-4100 ext. 2936

    Board of Directors

    Our Board of Directors is comprised of food bank leaders and industry professionals who shape Feed Ontario’s strategic direction.

    Meghan Nicholls

    Chair

    CEO

    The Mississauga Food Bank

    Wayne VanderWees

    Vice-Chair

    Founder

    Freight Managers Inc.

    Jyoti Saggar

    Treasurer

    CPA, CA

    Sr. Finance & Accounting Consultant

    Peter Oram

    Corporate Secretary

    Origination Supervisor

    Sollio Agriculture

    Ryan Noble

    Past Chair

    Executive Director

    North York Harvest

    Robin Bailey

    Board Member

    Executive Director

    Burlington Food Bank

    Audrie Bouwmeester

    Board Member

    Manager, School Programs

    Dairy Farmers of Ontario

    Wendi Campbell

    Board Member

    CEO

    Food Bank of Waterloo Region

    Christine Clark Lafleur

    Board Member

    Executive Director

    Port Cares

    Dawn Devoe

    Board Member

    Maureen A. Ford

    Board Member

    Manager and strategic planning professional

    Neil Hetherington

    Board Member

    Chief Executive Officer

    Daily Bread Food Bank

    Rim Khazall

    Board Member

    Senior Policy Analyst and Team Lead

    Canada Border Service Agency

    Konval Martin

    Board Member

    JoAnne Sytsma

    Board Member

    Food Bank Manager/Board Co-Chair

    Brockville & Area Food Bank

    Michelle Tampova

    Board Member

    Director of Product Marketing

    Shopify

    Thank you to our outgoing board members

    Andre Chow-Leong

    Board Member

    Peter Gould

    Board Member

    Nitin Jaitly

    Board Member

    June Muir

    Board Member

    Laura Wright

    Board Member