News Release

Church Donation Helps Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank Address Increasing Food Insecurity

The Daily Bread Food Bank (DBFB), Canada’s largest network of food banks, is seeing a roughly fourfold increase from pre-pandemic visits to the Greater Toronto Area food banks. A $500,000 donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints aims to help the DBFB manage more than 274,000 client visits every month. The donation is the Church’s largest food bank donation in Canada and will help purchase food products to serve the needs of DBFB recipients.

The DBFB was founded in the early 1980s to eliminate food insecurity and advocate for solutions to end poverty in the Greater Toronto Area. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was serving about 60,000 clients per month. As a result of the pandemic, increased immigration, general economy impacts and a significant inflation spike, it now serves more than 60,000 per week. Its food needs have grown from $1.5 million per year to $22 million per year, a nearly 1,500 per cent increase.

The DBFB distributes food to a network of nearly 200 food programs, including food banks, meal programs and shelters. In addition to food bank offerings, the DBFB helps clients navigate social programs for dental, immigration, housing and legal services, and its commercial kitchen provides 5,000 community meals to homeless and drop-in shelters weekly.

Neil Hetherington, CEO of the DBFB, noted that individuals or families can come to the DBFB without an appointment during the grab-and-go program and receive a hamper of basic predetermined food items, or they can make an appointment to attend a grocery store–like program to select three days’ worth of food from 42 categories. According to Hetherington, “We used to send out 35,000 pounds of food each day, but we now send out 170,000 pounds a day. A typical meal is about one pound, so about 170,000 meals a day come out of our facility.”

Hetherington further said, “On the weekends, we’ll see a line-up for the grab-and-go program that will extend right out on to New Toronto Street, and we’ll serve about a thousand families in the course of just a few hours.”

The Church’s recent donation gives Hetherington hope because the DBFB relies completely on food and cash donations from individuals and corporations. “What [the Church] did is so incredible,” Hetherington said. “It was monumental. It allowed us to buy the food we needed to buy. It was targeted, it was clear, and it made an impact.”

Read the article in French

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.