The holiday season is a time of feasting but for many food insecurity is a grave concern. With food and the cost of living increasing, The Globe and Mail reports that “over 4 million Canadians, including 1.15 million children experience some level of food insecurity.” Moreover, “Food Banks Canada recently estimated food bank use for a twelve month period at 1.7 million people, yet the number of food insecure individuals living in Canada is more than double this estimate.”
While the holiday season has nearly come and gone for another year, Toronto food banks rely on donations all year round. Courtesy of BlogTO, here is where you can donate food in Toronto by neighbourhood:
Knox Presbyterian Church at 630 Spadina Avenue offers Out of the Cold Meal Programs that provide Tuesday suppers and a food bank for youth up to 25 years.
The Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre at 789 Dovercourt Road is a member of The Daily Bread Food Bank and offers drop-in programs and food access almost every day of the week. See this wish list of goods for donation or contribute funds here.
The Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank serves vegetarians, vegans, and people trying to transition to a meatless diet but who have been unable to because they rely on conventional food banks to eat.
Good Shepherd Ministries offer food, shelter, clothing and more to anyone in need. You can help in a number of different ways including monetary donations, gifts of time, goods and services, third party fundraising events, the donation of Shopper’s Drug Mart points, and by organizing food, clothing and toiletry drives.
Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre at 86 Blake Street is a member of the Daily Bread Food Bank that has been operating for over 40 years. Monetary donations can be made online while members of the community are also encouraged to reach out to find out how to run a successful food drive in schools or workplaces.
The Fort York Food Bank delivers programs and services focused on reconnecting people with their respective communities. Donations of money, food, clothes, and books are needed to help support programs to feed the hungry, give access to trained counsellors (including lawyers, accountants and other professionals), and a drop-in centre with community kitchen and internet/computer access.
The Community Share Food Drive is located inside the Church of Ascension at 33 Overland Drive. Drop off non-perishable food items Tuesdays and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and noon.
Haven on the Queensway operates a food bank that provides groceries, household products, personal hygiene items and even pet food to anyone in need in the community. Its website lists ways to give including types of goods sought, monetary contributions, and corporate sponsorships.
The Sharing Place at 624 Annette Street is a non-profit compassion organization that provides warm meals on a weekly basis as well as a food and clothing bank for all people regardless of faith, income, or culture.Donations of non-perishable food items or funds are always needed.
The Toronto Branch Mobile Food Bank is an arm of the Canadian Red Cross based out of 21 Randolph Avenue. The service delivers food to persons in need with permanent or temporary disabilities and in some cases also provides health status monitoring. Donations can be made online.
The Caribbean Canadian Catholic Centre at 867 College Street is a member of Daily Bread Food Bank and operates a soup kitchen on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until noon and also arranges for emergency food when necessary.
The Parkdale Community Food Bank relies on donations from the community and encourages individuals to organize or fund a food drive at your workplace, tenants association, church, union, or corporate group.
The Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities provides a multitude of social support programs including a food bank, community kitchen and Meals-On-Wheels. Support SCHC by making financial contributions online.
ST. CLAIR WEST
The Stop Community Food Centre helps people meet emergency food needs with dignified services that make healthy food accessible. Among the programs offered are a food bank, community kitchens, markets and bake ovens, healthy Beginnings & Family Support, and urban agriculture. Donations and volunteers are welcome.
YONGE & DUNDAS
The Ryerson University Students’ Union supports the Good Food Centre at 55 Gould Street. Services include the Community Food Bank that operates on an honesty basis with an open door policy, as well as the Good Food Box, a non-profit fresh fruit and vegetable distribution service provided by FoodShare Toronto.
YONGE & GERRARD
The Yonge Street Mission provides hot meals and nutritious snacks daily to youth at the Evergreen Centre and to all ages at the Christian Community Centre. The food bank welcomes adults and families and offers clothing through a voucher system at their Double Take store. Donations are always in need and can be made online.
Do you donate food or your time to those in need? Let me know if I missed a donation centre in your neighbourhood.
Photo via the Daily Bread Food Bank.