We Asked … You Answered! How You helped Squash Hunger in Toronto

by | Jan 1, 2022 | Hunger Relief

We asked the generous people of Toronto to deliver — and you did!

Generous Loblaws shoppers and our Second Harvest community of givers like you warmed up the cold, dark month of December by donating 5,152 turkeys, 436 hams and 138 plant-based alternatives to our Squash Hunger food drive.

These healthy proteins were delivered to 110 of our frontline agency partners who used them to fill holiday food hampers or transformed them into hot, nourishing meals for their communities.

While the holiday season brings joy to many, it can be an especially difficult time for people living on low incomes and struggling with food insecurity. Second Harvest’s recent research estimates that more than 6 million Canadians access food from community organizations and non-profits. As the need grows, these non-profits are trying hard to fill the gaps. Driven by the impact of COVID, schools, faith-based groups and student programs are increasingly stepping up to provide food to vulnerable Canadians, joining traditional emergency hunger relief organizations like food banks and shelters. 

PHOTO: Squash Hunger donors like you helped provide turkeys that will be part of holiday meals for 75 families supported by St. John Mission in Toronto.

Miranda Kamal from our partner agency MJKO, a youth sports and leadership program, sees this firsthand. MJKO’s post-class snack program has transformed into an Emergency Food program for 133 families in the South Parkdale neighbourhood, providing over $300,000 of healthy produce, dairy and proteins.

“South Parkdale has been hit hard by the pandemic and things are continuing to get worse as we approach 2022, with the cost of food rising, kids struggling to integrate back into the school system, and families struggling to pay their rent,” she says. “We are so grateful to Second Harvest for the help. Without our 2,000 lbs of food support each week from Second Harvest, kids and seniors would be going to sleep hungry.” 

Miranda Kamal

Second Harvest gratefully acknowledges the long-time, loyal support of Loblaw Companies Ltd. who has been a partner of our holiday food drive for nearly two decades. They have generously welcomed our countless teams of hard-working volunteers into their stores to collect donations of turkeys and other healthy proteins that help our non-profit partners Squash Hunger.

In addition to our Presenting Sponsor, Loblaw Companies Limited, Second Harvest would also like to acknowledge our generous partners: The Slaight Family, The Marner Assist Foundation, and Maple Lodge Farms whose donations helped support our Squash Hunger campaign.

“We are grateful to each donor who supports Second Harvest and in turn MJKO,” said Miranda. “Thank you for making a difference at the local level this holiday season!”

TOP PHOTO: MJKO youth volunteers helping to deliver turkeys provided by generous donors to Second Harvest’s Squash Hunger campaign.


Presenting Sponsor:

Holiday Stuffing Muffins

Holiday Stuffing Muffins

The following recipe was supplied by the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs for the Second Harvest Cookbook, which featured 70 recipes from our network of over 500 partner agencies. All recipes feature a dish that staff, volunteers or community members prepared...