Sometimes the unexpected happens
From a sudden job loss to rising costs, a natural disaster to a personal tragedy, one change in circumstances can make the difference between a full fridge and an empty table.
Nearly 600,000 people visited a food bank in Ontario last year. 1 in 3 was a child.
Feed Ontario and our network of 1,200 food banks help ensure everyone in our province has access to nutritious food and wrap around support.
But our ultimate goal is to ensure that one day, no one needs a food bank. Period.
Hunger has many faces
The number of food bank visitors with employment grew by 47% since 2018.
1 in 3 food bank visitors in Ontario is a child under the age of 18. Children and youth are nearly twice as likely as the general population to access a food bank in our province.
Seniors are nearly twice as likely to need the assistance of a food bank on a long-term basis compared to adults under 65 years of age.
PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY
People with a disability
Disability related benefits are the primary source of income for 1 in 3 people who use a food bank in Ontario.
Learn 3 ways you can help Feed Ontario
More people than ever are turning to Ontario’s food banks to help put food on the table – and we need your help to keep up. Food banks are not government funded and rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses to help ensure families have access to the food they need. Learn how Feed Ontario can stretch your donation. Every $1 you give provides 2 meals to someone facing hunger.
Your donation will help:
- Facilitate equitable food distribution to every corner of the province
- Provide locally raised and produced eggs, meat, and dairy through Feed Ontario’s Fresh Food Programs
- Invest in capacity building, innovative programming, and resources to help food banks better serve their local communities
- Enable the development of true solutions to hunger and poverty
From Kenora to Toronto, Windsor to Ottawa, and large and small towns in between, Feed Ontario’s network of 138 direct member food banks and another 1,100 affiliate hunger relief agencies ensures that people facing hunger in every corner of the province have access to good food. Contact your closest Feed Ontario member food bank to learn more about how you can help your community.
Ways to help your local food bank:
- Donate money
- Donate food (check the food bank’s website or call to find out their most needed items)
- Volunteer your time – food banks have a range of skilled and non-skilled volunteer opportunities
- Start a fundraiser to support your local food bank
Hunger is a symptom of poverty. Food banks exist across this province not because of a lack of food, but because many individuals do not have access to a sufficient income that allows them to afford all of their basic necessities. Long-term policy solutions are key to not only ending hunger, but alleviating poverty – but these require time and collaboration from community leaders and all levels of government. Low benefit rates for Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) combined with high clawbacks from other sources of income create barriers that trap recipients in a cycle of poverty. Use our simple tool to tell your MPP to stop the clawbacks for social assistance recipients on earned income and benefits like EI, CPP, WSIB, and the upcoming Canada Disability Benefit.
Explore the Hard Truths of Hunger and learn what can be done to eliminate the need for food banks.
Why this matters:
- 1 in 3 food bank users in Ontario cite disability related benefits as their primary source of income
- OW recipients that are working can only keep their first $200 earned. Every dollar earned above that is clawed back by 50 cents.
- 2 out of 3 survey respondents have less than $100 left per month after paying for housing and utilities
"The main thing [my local food bank] does is take away a lot of the stress in day-to-day living. It really helps to make sure that people aren’t as stressed out. I’ve seen people come in who were almost in tears, and they walk out, smiling, thankful with bags full of food. It really makes a difference to everybody’s life."
Visitor, The Mississauga Food Bank
What is a modern food bank?
Over the last 40 years, food banks have evolved from traditional food cupboards into multi-service agencies for community building and change.