Even before COVID-19, nearly 4.5 million Canadians struggled to put good food on the table for themselves and their families.
In the year leading up to the pandemic, food banks in Toronto saw close to one million visits – a 5% increase from the previous year. In fact, pre-pandemic, food bank visits in Toronto had climbed back to the same level as the peak following the 2008-09 financial crisis. With the arrival of COVID-19, food bank visits in Toronto skyrocketed. By June, food bank visits had increased by 22% compared to the same period last year, and by August, that number grew to a staggering 51%. Today, precarious employment, insufficient income, and unaffordable housing continue to drive food insecurity in Toronto. Food bank usage in Toronto has increased 45% compared to 2020, which is 1.5x higher than the last peak period experienced during the 2008 recession.
To learn more about food insecurity in Toronto, read the Daily Bread Food Banks Who’s Hungry Report 2021 and Second Harvest's Invisible Food Network report.
To access food in your area:
Note that many food banks have eligibility requirements often based on address.