Our Impact Why We Exist
Mission: Increasing Knowledge of and Access to Good Healthy Food
Vision: Good Healthy Food for All!
Every month, FoodShare gets good healthy food and food education to schools and communities across Toronto and beyond. From field to table we focus on the entire system that puts food on our tables: from growing, distribution and cooking to education, nutrition, and community development.
We pioneer by illustrating what is possible, creating empowering tools and replicable, scalable models to combat universal food problems, then we mentor communities in drawing on their own strengths and knowledge to adapt and grow solutions. This food justice community development partnership model means that our work is leveraged exponentially, garnering effects that grow as each program or model is adapted and passed along to other communities. You can take a look at our most recent impacts in our Annual Report and Strategic planning that you can find at the links below:
Our Story What We Do
History: FoodShare was founded in 1985 to address hunger and food system sustainability in Toronto communities. Concerned with the growth of hunger and food banks, FoodShare’s original mandate was to coordinate emergency food services, and to collect and distribute food. Today, FoodShare is Canada's largest community food justice organization innovating solutions to issues in our food system reaching over 175,000 children and adults every day. Accolades and Accomplishments: Click here to check out a list of accolades and awards received by FoodShare programs, or here to learn more about the history of FoodShare.
Our Programs How We Do It
"In communities around the city, many people struggle to make ends meet and good nutritious culturally appropriate food is hard to come by. A converted decommissioned TTC Wheel-Trans truck is now driving around the city to help address this critical issue. FoodShare’s Mobile Good Food Market Bus stops in five communities each week, creating a pop-up grocery store where residents can stock up on a cornucopia of food staples for budget prices." Toronto's Vital Signs Report 2014.
FoodShare is Canada’s original direct field to table Community Food Hub recognized as an important innovator of effective programs that have been reproduced all across Canada. Our programs focus in four key areas - fresh produce, schools, growing, and cooking - using a community development food justice partnership model to leverage solutions exponentially.
- Fresh Produce: Good Food Box, Mobile and Good Food Markets, Bulk Fresh Produce for Community Groups
- Schools: Field to Table Schools, School Grown, Student Nutrition
- Growing: Community Gardens, Food Justice Community Food Animation, Composting, Beekeeping
- Cooking: Community Kitchens, Good Food Café, Baby and Toddler Nutrition, Power Soups, Focus on Food Youth, Toronto Kitchen Incubator
Toronto's Vital Signs® indicator(s) addressed by Programs
- “Health equity and access to the determinants of health [including housing] are prerequisites for a healthy and vibrant community. We need to ensure equal opportunities for health and well-being for all residents of Toronto, especially those who are most vulnerable and marginalized.”
“Education is the great socio-economic leveller. As we prepare the next generation of Torontonians for their future in a knowledge-based economy it is our shared responsibility to improve opportunities for all students.”
“As a society we can no longer afford to operate in isolation from one another. Our problems are too complex for any one solution alone. Our collective impact can create the kind of change our society, and indeed our world, needs. We owe it to each other, and to ourselves, to experiment with the power of collective impact.”
Description: Fresh, high-quality, diverse, affordable vegetables and fruit for communities and schools.
Program Impact:I’ve been eating more fruits and vegetables than I’ve ever had in my entire life. - Mobile Good Food Market customer
Each time I go to the community centre to pick up my box, I reconnect with friends and sometimes we wind up chatting and solving problems. Thank you - Good Food Box customer
- deliver over 80,000 bountiful Good Food Boxes per year filled with top-quality fresh produce through 200 volunteer-run drops.
- help increase availability of fresh produce in food deserts by supporting 17 Good Food Markets and 5 Mobile Good Food Markets.
- deliver affordable produce directly to 288 schools, childcare centres and community agencies, serving 70,000 children weekly.
Description: A long-term innovative approach to returning healthy food and food education to schools.
After working hard on the garden with the soil, I understood how hard the farmers have to work to make food for us. - student from a Field to Table Schools workshop
What a fantastic way to celebrate nutrition, raise awareness of various fooddiscussions, and encourage a sense of both school and national unity! - from an elementary school teacher after the Great Big Crunch
- Student Nutrition Programs support school-based food programs, providing grassroots organizing for more than 700 universal programs helping feed 160,000 students daily.
- Field to Table Schools teaches students from JK to Grade 12 about composting, school food gardens, nutrition, basic cooking skills, local and global food systems and more.
"The Province is one of the funders of the Toronto Partners for Student Nutrition (TPSN), coordinated by FoodShare, which serves healthy meals and snacks to 144,000 Toronto children through 682 programs in 463 city schools." Toronto's Vital Signs Report 2014.
Description: Cooking healthy, delicious, affordable, diverse food and breaking down social isolation.
I’m doing great at school now and a lot of students here are interested in learning how to cook so I’m teaching a lunch time culinary course to these high school students, I’m really enjoying teaching them what I learned at FoodShare. - former participant in FoodShare’s Kitchen
My way of thinking in regards to food has been completely blown open! I am sodetermined to go back to my community and see what resources we have to make food security changes. - Aboriginal Community Kitchen workshop participant
Toronto chef Jesus Gomez makes vegetable-focused school cafeteria food kids will actually eat. - Jennifer Bain, Toronto Star
- support dozens of health based Community Kitchens across the city.
- model nutritious home-made sustainable food through our award winning Field to Table Catering.
- prepare over 16,000 servings of nutrient-dense Power Soups annually, delivered by community agencies to the homeless.
- support peer trainers to go out to community groups to teach baby and toddler nutrition.
- model a healthy cafeteria in the Good Food Café. The Good Food Café offers a potential solution to the challenge of sustaining healthy school cafeteria programs. With each new Good Food Café location, meaningful, school-based employment opportunities are being generated. The GFC team is also demonstrating that kids will eat healthy food, when it’s cooked from scratch and tastes great.
Description: Growing bounties, cultivating knowledge and skills that build communities.
FoodShare is an amazing organization that actually engages stakeholders, and actually creates sustainable solutions... Their workshops and educational programs are sought out internationally by other cities and communities. - from Francis Urquhart
Work in the garden is a kind of medicine…to be outside caring for plants, harvesting, weeding and seeding in the greenhouse. - participant in the Sunshine Garden and Market at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
- Our mid-scale Composting operation produces over 25,000 pounds of Toronto’s best compost to feed our gardens.
- In partnership, we grow thousands of pounds of organic food in our onsite Greenhouse and Demonstration Garden, at the Sunshine Garden at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, at Bendale Business and Technical Institute, at Eastdale Collegiate Institute and Brock Public School.
- Fresh Produce: Community Health Centres, Community Centres, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Community Housing, Toronto Food Strategy, United Way, Food Policy Research Initiative and hundreds of community and corporate volunteers.
- Schools: Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Foundation for Student Success, Toronto Foundation for Student Success, Angel Foundation for Learning, as well as thousands of parents, volunteers and community partners across the City.
- Growing: Toronto Community Housing, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Community Health Centres, Toronto Beekeepers Cooperative, Toronto Urban Growers, Toronto Community Gardening Network, Toronto Compost Leaders, and hundreds of community partners.
- Cooking: Toronto District School Board, Miziwe Biik, Toronto Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto Public Libraries, and and hundreds of community partners.
What You Can Do
With financial support, FoodShare's Field to Table Schools program will be able to build school gardens, food literacy and food skills amongst thousands of Toronto's children and youth, train educators to embed good food education in their own lesson plans, and enhance the health and wellness of future generations in communities throughout Toronto.
Community Development through Growing and Cooking
Activities a donation will support
Financial support will enable us to continue to support food justice in communities across Toronto through innovative food programming including developing community gardens, community kitchens, establishing alternative food distribution models such as community run markets, and continue to use the power of cooking to reach more people in under-served communities (shelters, public housing, aboriginal communities) or those suffering with specific illnesses.
With financial support FoodShare's Community Development programs provide hundreds of community members with meaningful training and resources to enhance access to good, healthy food and transform the health and wellness of communities throughout Toronto.
Direct Fresh Produce Access
Activities a donation will support
Your financial support will allow us to continue to keep our costs as low as possible and pass on this savings to our customers. Financial support helps us cover costs like our vehicle and warehouse maintenance, and staff salaries so that we can subsidize the cost of food sold through Good Food Programs to keep prices affordable and accessible.
Your donation will improve access to fresh, affordable, high-quality vegetables and fruits for thousands of Toronto residents through directly supporting our Good Food Box, Mobile and Good Food Markets, and Bulk Produce for Schools and Community Agencies programs reaching more than 120,000 children and adults every month across Toronto, and ensuring that we are able to continue to model solutions that can be adopted by communities across Canada and beyond.