Think Outside the (Gift) Box

Think Outside the (Gift) Box

Incredibly, we are just weeks away from the start of the winter holiday season so beat the rush and check out these unique gifts that think outside the (gift)box! There’s truly something for everyone, from luxurious (and delicious) indulgences, treats for home chefs, gifts that get you moving, and much more. There’s even a customizable holiday card selection. What makes all these gifts extra-special is that each one gives back and supports Second Harvest! Check out these fabulous 12 presents that think outside the (gift) box:

1. 24 Good Deeds Charity Advent Calendar

Create a new holiday tradition with the 24 Good Deeds Charity Advent Calendar. The calendar costs $24 and supports 24 charities – each door you open profiles a Canadian charity your donation is helping, including Second Harvest. Order your calendar here but don’t delay – last year’s print version sold out early! A digital version is also available, with a good deed sent directly to your inbox for 24 days. 

2. Chefdrop

Perfect for holiday entertaining or celebrating a special occasion, Chefdrop brings you access to top chef and restaurant prepared meal kits across Southern Ontario. Thanks to Chefdrop, finding the perfect gift has never been easier! Gift your friends and family a special meal kit delivered right to their door, or get them a Chefdrop gift card to choose their own meal kit from over 50 different options. Starting November 1 until January 31, 2022, buy one meal kit and get one for 50% off! Use code: SECONDHARVESTBOGO. For each meal kit, Chefdrop will make a donation to Second Harvest so we can provide a meal for someone in need. Click here to dig in!

3. Cooks Who Feed

From the moment the fabric hits the sewing machine to the time it ends up in your kitchen, the eco-friendly Cooks Who Feed apron (available in both adult and youth sizes) has employed women experiencing poverty, reduced food waste, and provided food for 100 nutritious meals through their charity partners including Second Harvest. That’s a lot for one apron! Place your order here.


It’s the perfect time to stock up on holiday gifts with EATABLE’s alcohol-infused gourmet popcorn flavours, inspired by classic cocktails, wine and spirits for a refined taste and texture worthy of curious palates. With every order a percentage of sales is donated to Second Harvest – order now with promo code SECONDHARVEST to save 15% on popcorn bags and bundles until November 30, 2021. Order today.

5. Farmacy Beauty

Brighten up the winter months and your skin with Farmacy Beauty festive kits, featuring best-selling products and cult classics. Choose from Garden Party Green Clean Trio, Honey Harvest Hydration Kit, and Clean Greens Duo. But why choose? For every holiday kit sold, Farmacy Beauty will help us provide food for five meals to our community partners. Gift yourself and your besties by clicking here.

6. Fièra Cosmetics

Get your glow on for the holidays! Fièra Cosmetics offers products that are paraben-free, cruelty-free, non-GMO and adored by the thousands of women who trust them to care for the unique needs of mature skin. With every purchase of their best-selling concealer, Fièra Cosmetics will make a donation to Second Harvest to provide food for a meal. Shop the collection here.

7. Fill it Forward

Made from recycled plastic, the Fill it Forward Everyday Tote Bag is a practical dream – it holds up to 50 pounds, has comfy shoulder straps, and even has an inside holder to keep bottles (or bouquets) upright. But there’s a philanthropic tech twist: scan the Bag Tag each time you use the tote and Fill it Forward will make a donation to Second Harvest and other environmental non-profits! Shop here.

8. The GOOD Challenge

The gift that helps you grow, The GOOD Challenge Challenge Packs include adventurous games and activities that are fun, shareable, help foster connection and come in a variety of themed editions. For every Challenge Pack purchased, The GOOD Challenge donates $10 to one of over a dozen charitable organizations, including Second Harvest! Click here to learn more.

9. Harvest of Hope

Looking for a gift that gives to people and the planet? Our very own Harvest of Hope gift catalog enables you to make a donation to Second Harvest on behalf of friends, family or clients and share a story of impact with them. Click here to learn more.

10. Kilne

Looking for the perfect gift for a home chef or a housewarming? Complete with four types of knives, shears, a sharpening steel and an acacia knife block, the Kilne 6-Piece Knife Set is a brilliant addition to any kitchen. With every purchase of the 6-Piece Knife Set, Kilne will donate the equivalent of one meal to Second Harvest. For a gift that’s a cut above, click here.

11. Misette

Misette dinnerware has graced the pages of Veranda magazine, now enjoy it in your home. From nature’s inspirations to graphic panache, with Misette dinnerware the goal is to bring everyone the joy of sitting down together around the table for a good meal. That’s why, for every order, Misette will make a donation to Second Harvest to help us provide food for two meals. Shop their collections here.

12. Wonderkind

Wonderkind gift boxes are full of sumptuous, Canadian-sourced treats and indulgences – and what’s better, every gift gives back! Use special discount code WKSH-HOLIDAY21 for $5.00 off any gift set and this code will also include an extra $2.00 donation to Second Harvest! Offer expires on December 31, 2021. Click here to shop.

Don’t forget the card! 

Whether you’re tucking one into a perfect gift box or sending dozens to friends and family around the country, now is the time to stock up on holiday cards. With The Printing House’s Gallery Greeting Cards, you can select from 15 images to create your card or you can make Custom Greeting Cards and upload your own image for the front of the card. When you order, 100% of the net proceeds will go to Second Harvest! The cards are printed on FSC-certified paper and are a socially and environmentally conscious way to spread holiday cheer. 

P.S. Don’t forget to tag @SecondHarvestCA on social to share your gifts-that-give-back gift-giving moments, too!

Happy holidays!

MEET HEKTOR: Road Warrior. Food Rescuer. Triple-Bottom-Line Winner.

MEET HEKTOR: Road Warrior. Food Rescuer. Triple-Bottom-Line Winner.

Hektor has been a driver with Second Harvest for over 15 years.

And in that time, he’s personally delivered millions of pounds of fresh food to shelters for the homeless, after-school programs, pre-natal food programs, food banks, student nutrition programs, and to hundreds of other social service providers across the GTA.

Like each of Second Harvest’s delivery drivers, Hektor is also a valued frontline ambassador. It takes special people to navigate Toronto traffic in all weather, the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, loading and unloading thousands of pounds of skids and pallets of fruit, vegetables, milk, yogurt, proteins, and bread – all while bringing their personal touch to their work.

By rescuing food and delivering it to people in need, Hektor and the Second Harvest drivers were able to prevent 162 million pounds of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere last year while helping over 3,000 nonprofit partners fulfill their mission. That’s a triple-bottom-line win to be proud of!

Where does this nourishing surplus food come from? Second Harvest partners with grocery stores, distributors, caterers, large event spaces, growers, trade shows, farms, bakeries, and more. There are over 4,600 food donors on our long and diverse list, but each donor has the same guiding belief: that good, surplus food should not go to a landfill while there are people who need it. 

Giving Tuesday is on November 30. Join us on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels as Hektor does a social media take over! Learn about our partners across Canada and see what impact your support is making. 

This Giving Tuesday, we need your help to provide enough food for 100,000 meals!

Second Harvest relies on the support of amazing donors like you to nourish people facing hunger from coast to coast to coast. When you give on Giving Tuesday your gift will be matched which means every $1 you donate will help provide enough food for 4 meals! 

Your support will help drivers like Hektor make daily deliveries in the GTA, connect food donors to frontline nonprofit partners across the country through our award-winning food rescue app, and feed entire communities with healthy, surplus food in hard-to-reach places in Northern Canada. 

We hope you’ll join us on Giving Tuesday to help feed the nearly 1 in 5 Canadians that rely on food from community organizations.

Save the Date: NOVEMBER 30, 2021

Second Harvest providing $22.7 million to community groups across Canada to purchase food

Second Harvest providing $22.7 million to community groups across Canada to purchase food

Thanks to the support of the Government of Canada’s Emergency Food Security Fund, Second Harvest is launching $22.7 million in new funding for non-profits and charities in communities across Canada to enable the purchase of food, grocery gift cards and food vouchers, as well as provide support for food distribution. Second Harvest will direct a minimum of 30 percent of its funding allocations to organizations led by or primarily serving Black, Indigenous and Persons of Colour (BIPOC) communities. Community groups of all kinds that provide food support can apply for funding at, beginning October 28th to November 25th 2021.

Click here to apply

Canada’s Invisible Food Network release

Canada’s Invisible Food Network release

As a follow-up to Second Harvest’s 2019 report, The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste, Second Harvest is releasing a second research report titled Canada’s Invisible Food Network. It is the first report to reveal the massive, invisible patchwork of community organizations that support an estimated 6.7 million vulnerable Canadians, or 18 percent of the country’s population. The report reveals that there are over 61,000 non-profit organizations providing food at no or low cost to people in need compared to the 15,344 grocery stores in this country. 

Second Harvest supporters and members of the media are invited to attend a virtual  presentation of the research on Thursday, October 7 at 9:30a.m., with Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest.  To register for the livestream presentation please click HERE.

5 Questions with…the Tobin-Krofchick Family

5 Questions with…the Tobin-Krofchick Family

Michelle Tobin is a Special Education teacher with the Toronto District School Board and Harris Krofchick is an IT project management consultant. They’ve been together for 25 years (“It’s a summer camp fling that never ended,” jokes Michelle), have three children and have travelled to over 30 countries, often witnessing levels of poverty and food insecurity that touched them profoundly. Together, they started a fund that reflects their family’s values, setting up endowments with charities like the North York General Hospital NICU and Second Harvest to ensure that their efforts will continue to help generations down the line.

We asked Harris and Michelle five questions about what motivates these five philanthropists, big and small.

Tell us about the endowment fund and what motivated your family to start it?

We were particularly taken aback at the rising cost of food when the pandemic began, and we all felt the need to stockpile food and supplies. While we felt blessed that we didn’t need to worry about where our next meal would come from, we couldn’t help but think about those who were not as fortunate. We felt helpless with regards to helping others with the increasing cost of food, the demands being placed on the environment and started to research what we could do to help. 

We reached out to Second Harvest, as their values of food rescue and redistribution, as well as environmental concerns, so closely matched our own. Creating an endowment was one way that we felt we could help ensure that meals are supplied to those in need on an ongoing basis not only now, but for years to come.

How does supporting Second Harvest reflect your values? What inspired you to give?

There is enough food to go around in the city, but the issue is how it is distributed and preventing it from being thrown away. Our family motto is “respect the farmers” and that goes for how we consume and where we source our food. While we don’t have a direct connection between the grocers and the restaurants who have extra food, teaming up with Second Harvest was an incredible way that we felt we could help get food to those in need.

What do you hope to accomplish through your philanthropy?

In our culture, we put great emphasis on tikkun olam, the process of healing the world. We are blessed to raise three wonderful children, known to many as Team TK. In 2021 Team TK led a meal train through Ve’ahavta outreach vans to feed over 1,000 of Toronto’s most vulnerable. Our oldest son worked with Ve’ahavta for his bar mitzvah project. Rather than simply making sandwiches for those in need, he recruited two other families a month for seven months to assist in sandwich making for the homeless. His goal, in addition to supplying food for those in need, was to raise awareness in our community about how easy it is to help others, and to encourage other families to pass this message forward. We strive to always be aware of others, and not just ourselves, and to teach our children the importance and responsibility of giving back to the community.

What does Second Harvest’s vision of a world with “No Waste. No Hunger” mean to you and your family?

The past year and a half of the pandemic, coupled with the effects of climate change, we became increasingly concerned about food insecurity, food waste and distribution. From wildfires to impacted growing seasons to families out of work due to the lockdowns, Second Harvest’s vision is critical now more than ever. Second Harvest’s ability to connect charities in need with businesses with food that would otherwise be wasted, all the while reducing greenhouse gas emissions is an important step and example for others to reach that vision of No Waste. No Hunger.

What do you wish everyone knew about this cause?

We need to hold corporate citizens more accountable for redistributing all of the wasted food. There is enough for all, and if we all work together, food insecurity should not be an issue that still exists in 2021.