Together, we're feeding change.
Ontario Association of Food Banks
(Now operating as Feed Ontario)
Because of you, this year we…
Thank you for feeding change with us
Last year the Ontario Association of Food Banks marked 25 years of feeding change in Ontario. While we've evolved to meet the changing needs of our food banks and the people we serve, our vision of a hunger-free Ontario remains.
We’ve continued our focus on healthy food, with over 60% of the of the 5 million pounds we distributed this year being perishable food like protein, produce, and dairy products.
And what's more, we're not just providing food to people in need - we’re also feeding hearts and minds. As the leader in province-wide research on hunger and food bank use, we are helping to change the perception of hunger and build long-term solutions to poverty.
When you support the OAFB, you become part of our network of change-makers. That's why the the achievements in this report aren’t just our achievements, they’re your achievements, too.
We cannot thank you enough for all you've helped us to accomplish in 2017-18 and look forward to our continued work together in the fight against hunger.
Carolyn Stewart, Executive Director
Ontario Association of Food Banks
What do we do?
Provide Food Across Ontario
We distribute millions of meals every year through our FeedON network to nearly half a million people in need in Ontario.
Create Local Opportunities
We provide food banks with food, resources, and solutions to address both short and long-term food insecurity.
Conduct Province-Wide Research
We conduct research and analysis on food bank use, trends and the inter-connected challenges of poverty and hunger.
We connect local food banks. Working together, we can feed more Ontarians, more effectively.
Raymond has a number of food allergies, so he can’t eat many of the cheaper, heavily-processed foods available in grocery stores. That’s where the food bank has made a huge difference. "Receiving milk and fresh vegetables [from the food bank] allows me to buy more fresh vegetables...some of them are expensive but they make such a difference in what you’re cooking, so they’re worthwhile to me to buy them. That way I can afford to, I’m not going without."
You’re feeding change through nutrition
Your support provides people in need with nutritious food. In 2017-18, you helped us increase the amount of fresh and frozen food to over 63% of the total amount of food distributed! This included fresh meat, eggs, dairy, fruit, and vegetables and equates to millions of healthy meals! By improving access to healthy food, we are helping to prevent disease and give people the energy and vitality they need to not only survive, but succeed.
You're providing more fresh food
Last Year (60%)
This Year (63%)
You're delivering millions of healthy meals
Household Items (2%)
You’re making Ontario stronger
Protein is essential for a healthy diet, and that is why it is consistently one of the most-requested items by our food banks. Thanks to the support of our Fresh Food Program partners, we're able to provide a variety of healthy sources of protein that food banks might not otherwise be able to access.
Learn more about their incredible work and support below!
servings of eggs
servings of milk
Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Milk Transport Association, Ontario Dairy Council
In addition to their contributions through the Ontario Milk Program, the Dairy Farmers of Ontario are donating $150,000 over five years to the Ontario Association of Food Banks for the purchase of milk and dairy products for Ontario families in need. Dairy Farmers of Ontario has partnered with Gay Lea Foods, who will provide products at-cost over the next five years, to maximize this generous gift.
“I appreciate being a farmer and the fact that I feed people. As such I am pleased to be able to donate and give back to the community to give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the chickens I produce.”
You’re feeding change across Ontario
Your support connects 130 communities in every corner of the province. This year, through the Ontario Association of Food Banks' FeedON program, we were able to distribute over 5 million pounds of food across Ontario into the hands of those who need it most. That's the equivalent of 4.5 million meals! This was only possible because of you.
Here’s how the FeedON network connects communities:
Food (including much-needed milk, eggs and meat) is donated by agricultural partners, farmers, and the food industry.
Food offers are sent out to OAFB members via SNAP (Smarter Needs Allocation Program). Food banks then make requests for the amount they need.
With the help of the OAFB's transportation partners, donated food is transported to food banks in every corner of the province.
OAFB member food banks in 130 communities across Ontario receive the donated food and send it to where it's needed.
Dedicated staff and volunteers at over 1,200 hunger-relief organizations across Ontario share the food with people in need.
You’re helping people in every corner of the province
From Windsor to Ottawa, Thunder Bay to Niagara Falls, and all the big cities and tiny towns in between, there are people living with hunger. We send out food through the FeedON network to our member food banks across the province to help ensure that people in need all across this province have access to fresh, healthy food.
Explore our map of food banks here:
"We feel we make a difference in helping food to get to families that are in need through our partnership with the Ontario Association of Food Banks. We also like to do what we can to ensure less and less food makes it to a landfill. So with this partnership we feel we strive our best at doing this."
You’re feeding change on a local level
Your support helps to provide local programs that meet the diverse needs of the communities we serve. These programs provide communities with resources and support to address their unique challenges and provide fresh food to the different people they serve.
This year alone, we provided $195,000 in support to local food banks and programs to improve access to fresh, healthy food.
Feeding Fresh! Sysco Community Garden Program
Helps grow community, skills, and access to fresh food by supporting the creation and expansion of community gardens
- Food Banks Helped: 11
- People Impacted: 16,000
- Total Amount Provided:: $50,000
Capacity Building Program
Improves food banks' ability to store and distribute fresh, healthy food with capital improvements to fridges, freezers and forklifts
- Food Banks Helped: 12
- People Impacted: 58,000
- Total Amount Provided:: $45,000
Rural Kids Grant Program
Increases access to healthy food for children in rural areas by providing support to snack programs, breakfast clubs, and cooking classes
- Food Banks Helped: 18
- Children Impacted: 12,000
- Total Amount Provided:: $100,000
“We made twice-baked potatoes in our Rural Kids kids cooking class and the kids were so eager to take some home. The next week they said, ‘we made that for our parents!’ It’s working!.”
“I learned knife safety and little, healthy meals I can cook at home instead of packaged food. After this I was able to cook by myself and make meals.”
You’re feeding hearts and minds
Hunger Action Month
September 2017 was our second annual Hunger Action Month, where we encourage Ontarians to take action on hunger and poverty in their communities by educating, advocating, volunteering and donating.
- Educate: Our infographics on key hunger issues were shared thousands of times on social media, resulting in 131,000 impressions
- Advocate: Our postcard campaign engaged food bank clients in contacting their MPPs about why affordable housing matters to them
- Volunteer: Food banks held 19 food sorts with their local elected officials and 24 events to engage the public in their work
- Donate: Thank you to Cargill, the Toronto Star, and Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace) for supporting this campaign!
The 2017 Hunger Report highlighted the high number of children and single-person households using food banks and focused on the need for more affordable housing options in Ontario.
- Making History: This was our first report to evaluate a full year of data on food bank use across the province, allowing us to identify new trends across time and demographics
- Housing Unaffordability: Our analysis revealed that safe, affordable housing was out of reach for most of the people our food banks serve
- Creating Dialogue: Hunger Report generated 26 million impressions and sparked conversations on hunger and housing at Queen's Park
During this conference, we took the opportunity to recognize the passion and hard work of food bank staff, volunteers and donors over the last 25 years. Hundreds of food bankers gathered in Toronto to build relationships, share knowledge, and renew their dedication to fighting hunger in their communities.
- Guest Speakers: Mayor John Tory, Senator Art Eggleton, Maple Leaf Center for Action on Food Security leader Sarah Stern, Fibernetic co-founder John Stix
- Topics Included: Aquaponics and growing your own food, client counselling and referrals, communications and data visualization, engaging elected representatives, innovation and efficiency
“I wanted to donate to an organization that would direct funds where it was most needed in Ontario, and to support and address capacity building and food sustainability throughout the province. The Ontario Association of Food Banks does that.”
How we’re feeding the future
In 2018-19 we begin a new, three-year strategic plan to ensure your support feeds lasting change in Ontario. We’ve set ambitious nutrition targets, are focusing on building up food bank capacity, and will increase research and education to create long-term solutions to hunger.
We hope you’ll join us again on this journey, because together, we can end hunger.
Providing 77% Fresh Food
We believe everyone should have access to healthy, nutritious food. Because of your support, we can make that happen.
Based on the Canada Food Guide’s recommendations, we’ve set nutrition growth targets to provide our food banks and clients with more healthy food.
Over the next three years, we aim to grow the amount of fresh and frozen food we distribute by 14%, with a special focus on increasing the amount of produce we provide.
Building Up Our Food Banks
We are putting a renewed focus on building up our food banks' capacity to affect change in their communities. Our plans include:
- Evaluating our members' capacity to set a baseline for future growth
- Creating an emergency preparedness plan for the province so food banks are ready to respond to disasters
- Setting standards of care to ensure everyone who walks through the door of one of our food banks is given a high level of service
Better Understanding Hunger
By looking more closely at the trends leading people to seek support from food banks, we can better understand the root causes of hunger and work to build lasting food security solutions.
Building on the success of our annual Hunger Report, we will be releasing quarterly research updates based on the real-time, province-wide data on food bank use we gather, to feed change in hearts and minds in Ontario.
Food targets by weight (pounds), 2017-18 to 2020-21
"We are honoured to be able to partner with OAFB again and help by donating over 150,000 meals this year. The Sub of the Day program continues to grow and with its success, it is reassuring to know that we are also able to help in these efforts to provide meals so that no one goes hungry. I have personally attended an OAFB facility and seen the great work that is done there and the continued work that we will do in the future with OAFB."
We’re making your dollar go further
96¢is spent on programs & services, including food transportation, grants, training, and support
3 mealsis provided to people in need
Food & Distribution