Think food is a fundamental right? We think so, but we also recognize that there is still a lot of work to do for everyone to be able to enjoy the right to food. Canada ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1976, which includes the right to adequate food. This doesn’t mean that the government is required to give out free food, but instead a commitment to create the conditions for people to feed themselves, their families and their communities in dignity, today and in the future.
So why do nearly 13% of Toronto households experience food insecurity? Why do 17% of children experience food insecurity? And why does 13% jump to 25-29% for racialized communities? Asking those questions and addressing them motivates much of our work. It’s why we continue demonstrating opportunities for increased food access, through projects like Good Food Markets, while seizing opportunities to work with government to honour right to food obligations. It’s why we partner with organizations making an impact in their communities and advocating for the right to food, like our friends at Black Creek Community Farm.
In 2017 we reached 262,197 people through food, demonstrating inspiring models of change. We animated 1,343 community led food initiatives. And we trained 9,151 children and adults across Toronto.
We also advocated via countless deputations, consultations and positions taken.
Download a PDF copy of this impact report
I'm Paul M. Taylor and 2017 was my first year as FoodShare’s Executive Director. What a year it was. I didn’t just find my desk and an overflowing inbox, I found community. I met folks who do inspiring work every single day. I learned about the incredible projects growing across the city. It cemented for me the huge importance of the work we do together. Friends, if you don’t know much about FoodShare, well I can’t wait to tell you more.
I stopped by Heydon Park Secondary School, one of our School Grown farming sites. Learned that School Grown employed 30 young farmers who grew 8,325 pounds of food in 2017.
I tasted a School Grown rooftop strawberry. Maybe the best I’ve had. I still think about it. That fruit, along with the rest of harvest, generates paid jobs and school credit for young people.
I saw the Sunshine Garden for the first time. Understood how it grew hope and food for 18 folks connected to CAMH. Not to mention local residents savouring bounty grown by neighbours.
I tagged along for produce deliveries. We stopped at 30 schools in one day. I learned that FoodShare delivers to 252 schools and agencies across the city. Our drivers are local heroes!
I saw 2,000 Good Food Boxes get packed over the course of two days right before the holidays. Learned that FoodShare delivered 26,538 boxes last year.
I chatted with Tara, our Good Food Market Senior Coordinator. She mentioned feedback from the Bathurst Good Food Market. How folks love Abdi, one of our fleet experts. How they wait for him half an hour before markets start. FoodShare supported 45 markets last year, so you know there are more stories like this. Oh, we also operated 8 Mobile Good Food Market locations.
I met Jesus, our Chef and Good Food Café Senior Coordinator. Learned that 64,940 home-cooked meals nourished and delighted folks in 2017.
I smelled a batch of Power Soup made by Chef Sybil and learned that 21,800 cups of soup went out to community agencies last year. That’s a lot of warmth and nutrition on cold winter days.
Understood that our kitchen doesn’t just cater and prep meals. It’s also a space where community kitchens happen. That’s people connecting in a way only food can make possible.
I walked into our Student Nutrition office for the first time. Looked at their coverage map, it’s quite a sight. Realized FoodShare animated 812 student nutrition programs across Toronto last year. That’s 194,000 kids with access to breakfast or an early morning meal every single school day.
I took the 10th annual Great Big Crunch and joined 282,483 crunchers in making a lot of noise for a national school food program.
I heard students asking for seconds of leafy green salad at Good Food Machine sites, a FoodShare and LoyaltyOne project growing in 20+ classrooms.
I saw this photo from a Chefs in the Classroom session, supported by Tangerine. The students made arepas with Chef Valenzuela. I thought of how these skills last a lifetime and help shape who we become. Later in a report, I learned that our Field to Table Schools team trained 3,389 folks last year in everything from growing, cooking and critical thinking.
I celebrated winning the $100,000 Grand Prize via the Aviva Community Fund! That covers most of our costs to build a brand new school farm. We can’t wait to share it with you in 2019.
I dined at our annual fundraising event, Recipe for Change, and it was delicious. Impressed by the Culinary Arts Students from West Hill CI and all the folks who came together to support FoodShare. Join us at the next one, you’ll be just as amazed.
They’re groups like the Birchmount Community Action Council, a residential council run by folks dedicated towards building resident leadership in their neighbourhood via contributions to biodiversity and food security.
And the Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee, an organization dedicated to creating and implementing public space enhancement projects in their neighbourhood.
And the Midtown 416, a collective dedicated to serving the Ethiopian community by creating opportunities that are economically and socially enabling.
Systemic inequities affect access to basic needs like food. While FoodShare’s scope isn’t limitless, we can offer resources to groups who have already identified the change they’d like to see in their communities. It’s all about developing solutions to address racism and exclusion in the food system.
Met with folks from Black Creek Community Farm, one of our partners in our Supportive Partnerships Platform. I dined at their Dinner at the Farm Fundraiser and realized how many folks are doing wonderful work in the city in so many ways.
Saw Carolynne, our Indigenous Food Access Manager, present at a staff meeting. She had made a trip to Northern Ontario to hear more about the state of food access. I learned that FoodShare supports 2 community led Northern markets, while hearing from 8 members of our Indigenous Advisory Circle. And it’s vital work given that racialized communities, in particular Indigenous and Black communities, face additional barriers to accessing food. In 2017 we continued the process of embedding a food justice lens in every facet of our work. We look forward to sharing more of what that looks like with you.
Printed audited financial statements are available upon request.
Catherine & Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Royal Bank of Canada, The Fyfe Foundation, James Slater, Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein, Carolyn Cooper, Estate of Lorraine Ambler, Richard Willoughby, CAMH Foundation, Karen Jones, Tippett Foundation, R. Howard Webster Foundation, Taylor Irwin Family Fund, Entertainment One, Kathryn Kennedy, Daniels Corp, Whole Foods Market