Note: This article has been updated on January 10, 2022 to include further national & provincial resources.
Statistics Canada’s Canadian Community Health Survey in 2018 saw 12.7% of households report some level of food insecurity over the past 12 months1. This average was higher than any prior national estimate. Three years later in our current social and economic climate, and with the cost of living steadily on the rise, these stats are set to increase. Folks who are food-insecure are more likely to suffer from chronic physical and mental health issues2, conditions which are currently exacerbated. Whether you need one-time assistance, a few meals a week or ongoing financial subsidy for groceries, there are various forms of supports available. Check out some of the national and local resources listed below.
If you are in a position to help, click Here to donate to Second Harvest. To donate to Food Banks Canada, click Here .
Second Harvest Food Rescue
If you’re an organization in need to food for your communities, a farmer looking to reduce food waste, or an individual looking to access food training and other food programs, check out Second Harvest Food Rescue, Canada’s largest food rescue charity, for access to food and funding opportunities.
Food Banks Canada
Locate the food bank nearest you through Food Banks Canada’s Food Bank Search, You can search by city or postal code.
Community Food Centres Canada
Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC) was founded in 2012 to power the development of Community Food Centres across Canada and support the broader community food sector to create impact and change. If you are an organization looking to launch your own community food programing, you can apply for a CFCC Grant to support your efforts. If you’re an individual, check out the Community Food Centers near you, Good Food Organizations in your area, and other CFCC programs.
Breakfast Club of Canada
The Breakfast Club of Canada partners with communities, schools, and other programs across Canada with the mission of delivering a high-quality national school food program. COVID-19 has only exacerbated food insecurity and it’s impact on the lives of Canadian children. If you’re an organization or school interested in starting your own breakfast program, or strengthen an existing one, check out their application for funding.
Salvation Army provide food services, food banks, and community meals for those in need. Check out their food services here, and find Salvation Army food banks and community services near you:
La Tablée des Chefs
La Tablée des Chefs’ mission is to feed people in need and to develop culinary education for youth. Their programs around food recovery and solidarity kitchens tackle food insecurity with a variety of community, chef and restaurant partners.
Indigenous Services Canada
Indigenous Community Support Fund exists to provides Indigenous leadership and organizations with the flexibility needed to design and implement community-based solutions to prevent, prepare and respond to the spread of COVID-19 within their communities. This includes funding for food security. Check out which Indigenous organizations have received funding.
Please note that due to COVID19, a number of food banks are closed. For up-to-date information on your nearest food bank, please call 211, or visit 211Toronto.ca
- PWYC Grocery Store , Feed it Forward – The world’s first Pay What You Can Grocery Store, Cafe, and Bakery is located at 2770 Dundas St West, Toronto ON, M6P 1Y3. Check out their Instagram for updates on operation hours during the pandemic. They are also looking for volunteers to join their leadership team, or Donate Here.
- Toronto Central Health Hotline – Find a Food Bank near you.
- The Stop Drop in Centre (Donate Here) – Providing essential food access services in adjusted form at their main location at 1884 Davenport Road.
- The Stop’s Food Bank will run Mondays and Fridays, 12pm-3pm
- The Drop-in will no longer serve seated meals. Instead, we will serve takeaway meals on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 9am-10am for breakfast, 12pm-1pm for lunch
- Muslim Welfare Canada Halal Food & Essential Items Bank:
- Scarborough Location – Monday to Thursday and Saturday (Including Holidays) – 11:00 – 4:00 pm. Registration is done by appointment only. For more information or to register, please call 416-335-9994.
- Mississauga Location – Monday to Thursday and Sunday (Including Holidays) – 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Registration is done by appointment only. For more information or to register, please call 905-281-9730
- The Scott Mission – 502 Spadina Avenue – Food Bank will be open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. until Noon, for emergency groceries only. Meals: Pre-cooked, pre-packaged meals will be distributed to-go to our clients at the laneway door on the south end of the building. (Please note 1550 O’Connor Drive Food Bank is temporarily closed).
- North York Harvest Food Bank – If you are in need of emergency food support please call the North York Harvest Food Bank referral line at 416-635-7771 for information about your local food bank.
Meal Programs in York South-Weston:
- Frontlines’ Catering Program is offering free take-out meals for families in need. You must register to make an appointment, here.
- Weston-King Neighbourhood Centre offers free take-out meals most days of the week. Call ahead for details: 416-241-9898
- Mount Dennis Neighbourhood Centre offers free take-out meals on the weekend. Call ahead for details: 416-241-9898
- Syme Woolner Neighbourhood and Family Centre offers daily a meal program. Call ahead for details: (416) 766-4634
- 211 – Search various food resources by Location. Includes Food banks, PWYC Grocery stores, food pantry programs and more.
- Moisson Montreal – Montreal’s largest food bank. Open Monday to Thursday between 8 am and 3:30 pm, and Friday from 8 am to 11:30 am. Donate here.
○ For more information about volunteering at Moisson Montréal, call 514 344-4494, extension 256, or send an e-mail to email@example.com
- Canadian Muslim Response Network – Sign up for Food and/or financial assistance
Feed Nova Scotia
Feed Nova Scotia’s mission is to increase food security through food distribution, education and collaboration. To achieve this, they’ve distributed almost 2 million kilograms of donated food to our member network of 140 food banks and meal programs across the province.
For more: https://www.feednovascotia.ca/
Food First NL
Food First NL works with communities in Newfoundland & Labrador to ensure everyone has access to affordable, healthy, and culturally appropriate food.
For more: https://www.foodfirstnl.ca/
PEI Food Share & Resource Lists
Check out PEI Food Share’s list of food resources, from food banks, caring cupboards, and soup kitchens.
There are also a number of resource lists for free food resources and COVID-19 Food Support provided by the PEI Government.
Food for All NB
Food for All NB provides leadership in the advancement of food security in New Brunswick. Check out their COVID-19 food security response & resources.
For more: https://foodforallnb.ca/
Food Banks BC
Food Banks BC is the provincial association of food banks. Their membership comprises of 102 hunger relief agencies throughout British Columbia. Find a food bank here.
Food Banks Saskatchewan
Food Banks of Saskatchewan is the provincial association of food banks working together to build, support and strengthen relationships with the community to better serve and advocate on behalf of hungry and food insecure people across Saskatchewan. Check out their list of food banks!
Food Banks Alberta
Food Banks Alberta is the provincial association of food banks in Alberta with a mission to strengthen the impact of the Food Banks Alberta network by sharing best practices, innovations, and essential resources between members, stakeholders, and community partners. They are comprised of 88 member food banks across Alberta. Food Banks of Alberta have a provincial resource list to support food insecure Albertans.
Food Matters Manitoba
Food Matters Manitoba is a provincial organization that runs programs around food security. Check out their list of emergency and community support food.
1. The Economist Group. Global Food Security Index. 2019. https://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/Country/Details#Canada
2. Davison K, Marshall-Fabien G, Tecson A. Association of moderate and severe food insecurity with suicidal ideation in adults: national survey data from three Canadian provinces. Soc Psychiatry Epidemiol. 2015;14(1):21-30. [Abstract] https://proof.utoronto.ca/food-insecurity/#17