If you’re looking for food banks in Ontario, Canada, we’re here to help. Below you’ll find 10 top food banks from across the province.
1. The Stop Community Food Centre
The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto began in the 1980s as one of Ontario’s first food banks and distribution centers. Since then, it has expanded its services to not only provide food to those in need, but also educate them in how to grow and cook fabulous meals on a budget. On Mondays and Fridays, their Davenport Street location provides a monthly allotment of 3 days’ worth of food provisions to those with an immediate need; there is also a drop-in hot meal area serving breakfast and lunch four days a week.
If you want to help The Stop continue their community services, you can volunteer at least once a week to help sort, stock, and distribute food. You can also donate money to help The Stop run their community service programs. Or if you’d rather donate food, read here for the types of foods they accept and how to donate. Contact The Stop directly for more information about their other programs.
2. Newmarket Food Pantry
Formed in 1988 by a collection of church groups in Newmarket, the Newmarket Food Pantry provides 10-14 days’ worth of food to Newmarket and East Gwillimbury residents. Three days a week, those suffering from food insecurity can collect a food hamper containing pantry staples and whatever fresh produce and meat are available at the time. They even have food for pets, if needed.
As a registered charity, the Newmarket Food Pantry relies on help from the community to keep their services running. They accept food donations of nonperishable items throughout the week at marked bins in supermarkets throughout Newmarket and the Newmarket Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. You can also donate money online or register to volunteer at the food pantry. For all other questions, find out how to contact them here.
3. Eden Food for Change
Eden Food for Change began in 1989 by some concerned members of the Eden United Church in Mississauga. Since then, it has grown from the Eden Food Bank into the Eden Food for Change program to reflect the variety of programs they run to help not only feed the residents of western Mississauga but also give them the knowledge and resources to develop their cooking skills of nutritious food. Their food bank provides monthly food bags of nonperishable and some fresh items to registered clients.
You can help support the food bank at Eden Food for Change by donating money and food; find out how and what to donate here. You can also volunteer to help sort, stock, and distribute food to registered clients. If you want to learn about their other programs or other ways you can help, find out how to contact Eden Food for Change here.
4. Aurora Food Pantry
In south Aurora, the Aurora Food Pantry began in 1990 to provide food assistance to those suffering food insecurity in the Aurora and Oak Ridge communities. Their mission is to help alleviate food insecurity through the collection and distribution of nutritious foods to qualifying residents. Once a month, visitors can collect a selection of root vegetables, grains, dairy, and meats, including halal meats.
If you’d like to donate food items to help the Aurora Food Pantry, you can find out what they accept and how to donate here. You can also volunteer or donate money to support the pantry’s efforts. Contact them directly if you have any questions about their services.
5. The Churches on the Hill Food Bank
The Churches on the Hill Food Bank in Toronto provides up to 12 days’ worth of food to families in the area. Food bags contain food items intended to help families create healthy and balanced meals. There are also baby item provisions and pet foods, if needed.
Because Churches on the Hill Food Bank is run entirely by volunteers, they are always accepting applications for new volunteers; you can find out more about how to become a volunteer here. You can find out here how to donate money to the food bank. If you want to know how to donate food items or have any other questions, you can contact them on the phone number found here.
6. Markham Food Bank
Since 1984, the Markham Food Bank in Markham, Ontario, has provided food bags to those in the Markham area suffering from food insecurity and low income. Once a month, visitors to the food bank can receive a pre-packaged food bag of 7-10 days’ worth of nonperishable foods and, when available, dairy, fresh produce, and fresh meats. Visitors can also receive toiletries and baby items, if needed.
Community assistance is always accepted at the Markham Food Bank, whether that be through volunteering, food donations, or monetary donations. To find out more about what the Markham Food Bank has to offer or how you can support their mission, contact them using their online form or visit them during their open hours.
7. Ste Louise Outreach Centre of Peel
The Ste Louise Outreach Centre of Peel has been operating since 1982 and providing the struggling residents of Peel with a resource of help in times of dire food insecurity. Visitors can attend once a month to receive prepackaged boxes of food, including bread and fresh produce, toiletries, household items, and even clothes and baby items, if needed. Depending on family makeup, seasonal boxes could include toys, school supplies, or even furniture items.
Visit this page to find out how to donate money or needed items to Ste Louise Outreach Centre. You can find out how to be a volunteer here. If you have any other questions or need more information, email them directly.
8. Georgina Food Pantry
A group of concerned church members formed the Georgina Food Pantry in 1985 in response to the growing number of low income and struggling families in the area. Now located in Sutton West, Ontario, the Georgina Food Pantry opens twice a week to provide Georgina residents with four days’ worth of food each month. Food bags are filled with pantry staples but also any fresh produce, dairy, meats, and breads available at the time.
If you’d like to donate food to the Georgina Food Pantry, you can do so at local participating grocery stores, or you can donate funds directly to the food pantry through their online giving site. If you want to know how to volunteer or have any other questions, contact them online.
9. Bluffs Food Bank
The Bluffs Food Bank in Toronto began in 2003 when five community churches came together to help alleviate the rising food insecurity in the greater Toronto area. Named after the church who offered to house the food bank—Birchcliff Bluffs United Church—the Bluffs Food Bank opens every Thursday lunchtime to provide food bags to anyone who needs help.
Because Bluffs Food Bank is completely volunteer-run and supplied, they are always looking for new volunteers and donations. Visit this page to read about how to become a volunteer. For food donations, you can read the guidelines on this page, or to donate funds directly to the food bank, visit this page. For all other questions or information, you can find contact information for the Bluffs Food Bank here.
10. St Thomas Elgin Food Bank
Serving residents of Elgin County, St. Thomas Elgin Food Bank in St. Thomas opened in 1986 in response to the recession and rising need for community resources. The St. Thomas Elgin Food Bank looks to provide help to those living in areas of Elgin County where no food bank already exists. Once a month, visitors can receive an emergency food hamper of pantry staples and available fresh items.
Visit this page to find out all the different ways you can donate to help support the St. Thomas Elgin Food Bank. If you’d like to volunteer, you can visit this page to register your interest. For any other questions or to organize a food drive, contact the St. Thomas Elgin Food Bank directly.
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