Second Harvest is a food rescue organization founded in 1985 to address the growing problem of hunger in Toronto. Thirty-three years later, we continue to alleviate the problems caused by hunger by bridging the gap between surplus food and those experiencing hunger.
Each morning, ten refrigerated trucks and one refrigerated van leave our warehouse and head to the four corners of Toronto, rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste from hundreds of food donors including grocery retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. Within 24 hours, we deliver this food to our network of 261 community agencies where it is transformed into hot meals at shelters, children's programs, drop-in and community centres, and seniors programs. Or, it is distributed in food hampers at neighbourhood food banks.
We deliver enough food to provide 34,000 nutritious meals each day, providing food to more than 330,000 people every year. Among them are children and youth, women and children escaping domestic abuse, elderly people on fixed incomes, the working poor, newcomers, individuals struggling with mental health issues or battling addiction, people that are homeless or street-involved and those who have simply fallen on hard times.
- 36% of the people that rely on our food deliveries are children and youth.
- Over 12.3 million pounds of rescued food is kept out of landfills every year.
- We do not buy food. All of the food we deliver is DONATED. It is surplus that would otherwise go to waste.
- 94% of food rescued is perishable
- Second Harvest's recovery of over 12.3 million lbs of food is equivalent to 58 million pounds of greenhouse gases not entering our earth's atmosphere.
- Over $18 million is saved each year by agencies who would normally purchase food (which they can put back into their programs).