Meet proud Canadian and Torontonian Paul Massey. He experienced poverty and food insecurity in his youth, after facing much adversity he is now is a successful businessman in Toronto. For him, there was no better place to offer his volunteer support and to give back with philanthropic efforts than to Second Harvest. We had the pleasure of speaking with him recently. It’s been over a decade since he first began volunteering and donating to Second Harvest.

“I experienced hunger as a kid so I know what it’s like and that’s why I can identify with Second Harvest,” Paul Massey told us. During and since the pandemic, Paul saw an increased need for help in Toronto and threw himself even deeper into hunger relief efforts.

Paul has been a regular donor and volunteer for Second Harvest since 2010. He feels a particular personal obligation and immense desire to help tackle the growing challenge of food insecurity and need for good, healthy food. “This world is not in good shape. I’m very aware of how serious the hunger problem is … and Second Harvest ‘s philosophy really fits with me – No Waste, No Hunger. I really cannot stand waste of any sort.”

It’s no surprise that Paul has joined forces with like minded Canadians and Second Harvest to help divert food away from landfills, to where it truly belongs, the plates of hungry Canadians – to reduce the plight of national hunger.

Paul prioritized food insecurity as one of his marquee charitable initiatives as his business ventures continued to thrive. He was drawn to programs such as Feeding our Future which allows him to physically and financially help with kids who need lunches when schools—and their lunch programs—close over summer.

“We pack up lunches for kids who usually rely on getting their lunch at school … with school out [every summer], I wanted these kids who need it to have a nutritious meal. I came from poverty, and I’ve done well for myself, but I know how important the basics are,” said Paul, who was recently recognized by Second Harvest for his significant efforts with a commemorative plaque on the wall in the front lobby.

“I worked the registration desk for [Second Harvest’s] recent Truck Pull so that was a lot of fun meeting people. The way I see it, I’m very fortunate to be in the position I’m in, rents are sky high and cost of living is high, so I want to help.”

Paul, who owns an apartment building in a desirable Toronto area, found it serendipitous that on his first day of volunteering at Second Harvest he met a fellow volunteer whom had just emigrated from Mexico and in the spirit of community offered her a ride. “On that ride she graciously shared that she was looking for accommodations and now she and her husband are now tenants in my apartment building … and a couple of times I’ve driven her to Second Harvest, where she now works.” 

Paul Massey has positively impacted many people through his charitable spirit and philanthropic nature. Second Harvest and the community he serves have been made better and more hopeful for all of his tremendous support.

Paul Massey’s Tip for Food Preservation:

“One of the things I’ve done is that when Ontario strawberries first come out there’s so much sugar in them that they have a very short shelf life, so what I do is when I get home I wash them and then bury them in yogurt … this keeps the oxygen off them and keeps them good for a long time.”

World Food Day is on October 16

World Food Day is coming up on October 16, and we’re looking to add new donors to our community of supporters. Together, we can ensure that families, children and seniors in need have access to fresh, healthy food.

Want to join our donor community?

Every donation, one-time or monthly, makes a significant impact in our work rescuing and redistributing surplus edible food to fight food insecurity in Canada. Make your donation here.

Creative ways to repurpose food packaging and reduce waste

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Lessons from Korea’s food waste policies

Lessons from Korea’s food waste policies

Editor’s Note: Food waste isn’t just a Canadian problem – it’s a global issue with devastating impacts on climate change and hunger. All over the world, countries struggle to ensure good food ends up on plates instead of landfills, and many have developed unique...