Heartwarming thank you messages from non-profit partners

Heartwarming thank you messages from non-profit partners

With the generosity, help, and support of many, Second Harvest rescued and redistributed 53.3 million pounds of food in 2022. This means that 4.3 million Canadians were fed good, healthy meals with rescued food across the country. We know that behind these statistics are people. They are individuals, families, parents, and children—our neighbours, peers, friends, and loved ones—who struggle daily to get the nourishment they need and deserve.

This holiday season, we’re thankful for our non-profit partners who work tirelessly to help distribute rescued food to Canadians facing food insecurity. Without Canada’s invisible food network, the work we do would not be possible.

To warm your heart this challenging, yet hopeful holiday season, here are thank you notes from Canadians. Thanks to you, they got the nourishment they needed for themselves and their neighbours. 

Notes of gratitude from Second Harvest partners

“We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, it’s truly because of your generosity that our drop-in members are able to enjoy a fabulous meal and feel the holiday spirit.” 

—Parkdale Activity Resource Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

Heartwarming thank you’s this holiday season from Canadians in need of food | Parkdale Community Food Bank, Canada

“Kids Kottage Foundation is Edmonton’s only crisis prevention and intervention shelter for infants and children. The number of families who have benefited from the donations through Second Harvest is too many for me to count.  Food means nourishment; life. Food provides a sense of security and predictability. When there is food at home, there is hope and happiness for everyone in that household. On behalf of Kids Kottage and the clients, thank you. Your donation has made such a difference and is appreciated beyond measure.” 

— Kids Kottage Foundation, Edmonton, Alberta

 “South Parkdale was struggling before the pandemic and since has become a COVID-hot spot. Families are struggling to pay their rent, phone bills, and everyday expenses. The help of Second Harvest has helped ease the burden by providing over 2,000 lbs of free healthy food  into the community WEEKLY.” 

— MJKO, Mentoring Junior Kids Organization, Toronto, Ontario

Rescuing P.E.I.’s potatoes—and enjoying them across Canada 

Potatoes, believe it or not, are a very important staple for Canadians and our local economies. This is especially true in Prince Edward Island, where 1 in 4 potatoes in Canada are produced. When there was an unforeseen surplus of 300 million P.E.I. potatoes that couldn’t be exported to the U.S., Second Harvest and the Government of Canada came to the (food) rescue. Food charities from coast-to-coast-to-coast received donations of P.E.I. potatoes and are still making delicious meals to feature them.  

Read our story: Saving P.E.I.’s potatoes: A truly Canadian food rescue story

Rescuing P.E.I.’s potatoes—and enjoying them across Canada  | Heartwarming thank you notes this holiday season
Caption: Heartwarming thanks all around as a delivery of rescued P.E.I. potatoes arrives!

“Thanks to this gift, over 300 families (almost 1,500 individuals) were fortunate to have a grocery box delivered right to their door to help support the community during the global pandemic. The impact of these food boxes has been incredible and would not have been possible without Second Harvest. The gratitude from families has been heartwarming, and many have told us that without this box of food, their families would go hungry.  Thank you for making sure families in Saint John didn’t go without food.” 

— Bee Me Kidz, St. John, New Brunswick 

Connecting locals with Second Harvest’s Food Rescue App

With food insecurity and the need for hunger relief, as well as food waste on the rise in Canada, Second Harvest expanded its scope nationally with our Food Rescue App. Our app helps connect food businesses that have surplus food to donate with organizations that need it in local communities everywhere in Canada. 

“The Second Harvest food rescue app has been a wonderful program to be a part of! It can be easy to overlook how important having a good meal is as it’s something many of us take for granted. I’m grateful that this program was created and that I am able to participate in allowing our residents’ easy access to healthy food.  With the serious concern of food equity and access in our community, it’s great to know this food is going to good use and to know that none of it will be going to the landfill.”  

—Rain City Community Housing and Support, British Columbia

Heartwarming thank-you’s this holiday season from Canadians in need of food | Second Harvest food rescue

Northern Canada’s summer shipment of rescued food

Getting nutritious, surplus-rescued food from southern to northern, remote Canada is no easy feat. It’s a massive logistical undertaking that would be impossible without our partner, Arctic Co-op. Our teams begin to organize food donations fit for long-haul transport in early spring for deliveries in the summer, once Arctic sea ice melts enough for sealift’s safe passage. In 2022, we rescued and redistributed over 40,000 pounds of surplus food to over 15 Northern Canadian communities in Nunavut. 

Read our story: Summer’s Arctic shipment: When Nunavut’s sea ice melts, food rescue delivers.

“I thank you very much and I wish you many blessings for your good work to lessen the hunger in the world.”

—Dorica, Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut

Second Harvest food rescue in northern Canada | holiday thank-you's from coast-to-coast-to-coast
Caption: Unloading pallets of supplies for an Arctic Co-op location in the winter of 2021.

Second Harvest also redistributed rescued food to Canada’s Northwest Territories. Here are some heartwarming thank-you’s from the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation in Ulukhaktok, NWT. 

“On behalf of Ulukhaktok, I would like to thank Second Harvest for their generous food donations to our community members. Fresh, nutritious food is not always accessible in our remote community, so Second Harvest’s contribution is greatly appreciated as it provided multiple meals to the majority of families in Ulukhaktok. Thank you, Second Harvest!”  

—Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Ulukhaktok, NWT 

“These donations provided healthy meals to hundreds of Inuvialuit living in the ISR where access to affordable, quality food is often challenging.  Due to the high cost and logistical issues of shipping food to our isolated communities, as well as the socio-economic inequities that persist, food sovereignty has long been an issue in the ISR.  It is in partnership with great organizations like Second Harvest that we will begin to alleviate some of the historic and systemic causes of strain on individuals and families in our region. Once again, on behalf of Inuvialuit, I would like to extend sincere gratitude to Second Harvest for their generous donations to our region. Quyanainni. Thank you.”  

—Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, NWT 

Wishing happy and healthy holidays to all Canadians

Every Canadian deserves equal access to healthy, nourishing food to thrive every day. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to help relieve hunger and food waste. Our work is ongoing and far from done, but sometimes it’s good to pause, look back, and give thanks for all that we’ve accomplished together.

Learn how you can help by donating this holiday season

Second Harvest food rescue donations
Read more: 7 Holiday employee engagement ideas for good causes.

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 using fresh rescued food that they received from Second Harvest and our food donor partners.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 (120g) boxes stuffing mix
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 3 1/4 cups butter, melted
  • 4 medium sized apple, peeled and diced
  • 5 stalk celery, diced
  • 6 tbsp parsley, chopped

PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In large bowl, blend stuffing mix, water, butter, apple, celery and parsley until fully combined.
  • Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups, pressing mixture gently with spoon.
  • Bake until stuffing is firm and tops are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Serves 12

Tip: Serve with turkey and gravy, or eat on their own.

“Food matters to our entire club –  children, staff, students and volunteers – because it’s essential to our growth holistically! Food is how we start our day.”

– Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs
Philanthropic cultures: Danone Canada’s partnership with Second Harvest

Philanthropic cultures: Danone Canada’s partnership with Second Harvest

Food waste is extremely prevalent in our society and many organizations and brands are increasingly looking to find new ways to reduce waste and promote sustainable food systems with their platforms. Danone Canada, through a recent partnership with Second Harvest, joins this list of brands with a new Greek yogurt product called Two Good

“As a purpose-driven company that values balancing business growth and performance with social responsibility, we are very excited to bring Two Good to the Canadian market to enable consumers to do good for themselves and their communities through a simple cup of yogurt,” Eric Maffert, Senior Marketing Director at Danone Canada said. “Like Danone Canada, Two Good operates with a shared mission to bring health through food to as many people as possible, while also doing its part to make a positive social impact and that’s why – to support the launch of the product in Canada – we’re excited to announce our partnership with Second Harvest, the country’s largest food rescue organization.” 

Along with the launch of this product, Danone has committed a donation to Second Harvest that will help us rescue and redistribute enough food for 83,000 meals!

“Through the partnership, we’ll help to create a more waste-conscious food system that prioritizes feeding those in need,” Maffert said.

Did you know?

Food insecurity has links to lower diet quality, and that’s why we have a specific focus on rescuing and redistributing nutritious and perishable foods to non-profits all across Canada. In fact, in 2022, 85% of the food we rescued was perishable and 64% was nutrient-dense!

Learn more about our annual impact in the past year in this year’s Annual Report.

Donor Advised Funds and Second Harvest

Donor Advised Funds and Second Harvest

Are you passionate about a future with No Waste and No Hunger? In recent years, donors like you have turned to Donor Advised Funds to make giving to charities you care about easier, and more manageable! 

Donor Advised Funds are like charitable investment accounts for the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations you care about, and still allow you to benefit from immediate tax savings for the full value of your donation. They allow you to make a charitable contribution and then recommend grants from the fund over time. Donors can contribute to their DAF frequently through the year and recommend grants to their favorite charitable organizations whenever it suits their giving interests.

Working with your financial institution or Community Foundation you can set up your DAF with an investment of $10,000 in some cases. They offer the same funding choices as setting up your own private foundation, but with lower administrative costs and far greater flexibility.

You can contribute to your fund using a broad range of assets, including cash, publicly traded securities, mutual funds, real estate, and stocks. This can make supporting the causes that mean a lot to you even easier, as some non-profits don’t have the capacity to accept complex assets, but they’ll have no trouble accepting grants from your fund.

Giving to Second Harvest through a DAF offers a number of advantages, including the flexibility to give throughout the year. Our relationships with many community foundations and wealth management firms also offers a way for them to have an immediate impact on the food insecurity crisis in Canada through an organization they know is using their donations for the intended purpose. Working with the donors or their representatives, the team at Second Harvest can ensure that a prospective gift is tailored directly to the donor’s philanthropic priorities and that they receive fully detailed reports on the impact their gift has had.

If you would like to learn more about ways to support Second Harvest through your Donor Advised Fund, you can contact Charles MacKenzie, Senior Manager of Foundation Giving at charlesm@secondharvest.ca or by phone at (416) 452-5909.

Partners in action: Working together to make lasting change

Partners in action: Working together to make lasting change

Relationships are an ever-changing and nuanced dynamic in all facets of life. Positive business relationships take time and must be cultivated, connected and engaged in a core philosophy. And, perhaps most importantly, moving in a similar direction. Businesses change and evolve constantly. This is particularly true in today’s world of technological developments, as well as worldwide economic, health, environmental and hunger challenges.

Loyalty is earned, both ways, through time and hard work and travelling together in one common direction. Case in point: Second Harvest and long-term partner Purolator.

Purolator and Second Harvest: Tackling hunger together

Purolator, as you may know, is a leading integrated freight, package and logistics provider. What you may not know is that they are a very active and engaged partner in the cause of tackling food insecurity and hunger. Purolator’s flagship program, Tackle Hunger, is an impressive grassroots initiative that has led to the delivery of more than 18 million pounds of food to families across Canada who are in need since the program’s inception in 2003. That’s big!

For more than 20 years, both organizations have shared in a healthy, growing and vitally-important partnership focused on combating hunger.

“Purolator is truly dedicated to the cause and is making a big difference. What’s special about Purolator is that for a corporation to work with a charity for 22 years, the relationship goes through several phases of evolution, but their dedication to our cause remains so constant it is a credit to their philanthropic culture and leadership,” said Kris-John Kucharik, Senior Manager of Corporate Partnerships, Second Harvest.

Kris-John, known as “K-J” to everyone at Second Harvest and elsewhere, has relished the opportunity to nurture the relationship with Purolator. “This long-lasting partnership with Second Harvest shows Purolator’s genuine commitment to contributing to multiple solutions to address food insecurity in Canada.”

The partnership between Second Harvest and Purolator continues to grow and evolve. 

“It would not be possible without all the dedicated work of so many team members on both sides for so long, and we are tremendously excited for what we can continue to achieve together,” Kucharik commented.

Purolator couldn’t agree more.

“Purolator is grateful for the opportunity to partner with and support organizations like Second Harvest that continue to deliver for Canadians when they need it most,” Stephanie Iacobelli, manager of Community Investment for Purolator. “Through our Purolator Tackle Hunger program, we are proud to support Second Harvest through monetary donations and in-kind shipping so that they can support families and individuals in need across Canada. This is all while working to address another critical issue facing Canadians and our environment, and that is food waste.”

By helping Second Harvest get edible food into the hands of hungry Canadians and away from landfill, we’re working collaboratively to deliver a better, stronger and healthier Canada for future generations.

– Stephanie Iacobelli, Purolator

Purolator’s contributions to Second Harvest 

The Purolator partnership has provided integral in-kind logistical support to Second Harvest, allowing us to fulfil our donor stewardship initiatives with the use of their nationwide courier services. Additionally, they have provided general financial support over the years for our food rescue operations and Second Harvest’s Hero fundraising campaign.

In 2022, the Purolator partnership with Second Harvest continues to grow, as they have doubled their in-kind logistical support to the amount of $30,000. Now that Second Harvest is truly a national organization, the logistical needs and expenses for business and donor correspondence have grown immensely. Purolator is also generously donating $25,000 towards our food rescue operations.

“This increased support will be tremendously impactful for our day-to-day business operations and allow us to continue making progress in tackling our mission,” Kucharik said. 

Since 2000, Purolator has donated over $300,000 in both in-kind and financial support. From Second Harvest’s days as a small, community-based, grassroots organization to a national charity and international thought leader in food waste prevention, Purolator’s support has played such a key role in our journey of growth. We are so excited to continue working with their amazing team.

Looking to get involved?

Whether you are looking for ways to get your company and employees involved in philanthropy or become a leader in corporate social responsibility, you’ve found the right partner in Second Harvest. Approximately one-third of the Second Harvest annual budget is provided by community-minded companies through corporate donations, cause marketing campaigns, gift-matching programs, event sponsorships, and employee giving. Click HERE to get involved.