“After 16 Years, It Feels Like Friends Working Together”—Juliana Sprott

“After 16 Years, It Feels Like Friends Working Together”—Juliana Sprott

Since its founding in 1988, The Sprott Foundation has been dedicated to addressing homelessness and hunger in Canada. Their philanthropic efforts support programs and projects that enable self-sufficiency and dignity for those Canadians in need.

The Sprott Foundation has been generously supporting Second Harvest and our vision of No Waste. No Hunger. since 2005. We had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Juliana Sprott who is the foundation’s Chief Giving Officer and daughter of the founders, Eric and Vizma Sprott. 

“If you don’t have the fundamental elements to thrive, like a roof over your head, and if you don’t have the proper fuel for your body, you’re starting your day at a disadvantage,” Juliana Sprott told the Second Harvest team. “For our family, we look at the country we live in and we think that is unacceptable.”

Over the years, the Foundation has supported Second Harvest on many initiatives. For example, The Sprott Foundation provided generous funding for Second Harvest to distribute $10 million worth of grocery gift cards to our agency partners, such as food banks and community centre soup kitchens, across the country in summer 2020. Twenty-five percent of the grocery gift cards went to Indigenous-led organizations in Northern Canadian communities. 

This was in direct response to the spike in food insecurity across Canada due to COVID-19. In fact, one in seven Canadians now experiences food insecurity—an increase of more than 1.2 million people.

Juliana Sprott, the Chief Giving Officer at The Sprott Foundation and daughter of the founders, Eric and Vizma Sprott.

We spoke with Juliana Sprott to hear more about the foundation’s longstanding partnership with Second Harvest and how our visions for the future of Canada align. 

What inspired—and continues to inspire—The Sprott Foundation to partner with Second Harvest?

“What initially appealed to me, and later with the board, was that Second Harvest was able to rescue good food from ending up in a landfill. It was an easy and obvious solution to dealing with food waste.

When I look in my fridge and see that I have food that’s about to go to waste, I use it up right away. But organizations that are not able to sell that food, like a grocery store, let’s say, there might be a soup kitchen or a community food program that can use it tonight or tomorrow. Making that connection between the organization and Second Harvest is brilliant.

That was the initial connection between The Sprott Foundation and Second Harvest. Over the years, I’ve also developed a strong interpersonal relationship with Lori Nikkel and the team at Second Harvest. It’s hard to explain, but there is such a bond there that resonates with me, my family, and our Board.

How does Second Harvest’s vision of No Waste. No Hunger. support The Sprott Foundation’s zero hunger mandate?

“When I think about food waste in this country, it is truly mind-boggling. To think that we can address it is a beautiful opportunity. If you don’t have the basics in life, like food or shelter, you are not able to thrive in any other capacity. 

You could be a person who is an absolute genius at math, dancing, or art. If you are going to work or school hungry, you’re not going to be able to fuel your mind to bring those talents to the forefront. 

When we think of Zero Hunger or No Hunger, we want to try to help people get healthy, nourishing meals into their systems so that they can be the best versions of themselves.

In the pandemic, many basic human needs were threatened. How did the Foundation’s giving pivot in response?

“Our mission didn’t change, but when it became apparent that COVID was turning into a pandemic—and people were asked to stay home, being furloughed, and businesses were shutting down—we realized that we needed to make a massive investment in food security. 

People were losing their jobs. They didn’t know when they were going to go back, they would likely start to divert their money to rent, cut back on discretionary items and food. If you have to decide to pay for rent, electricity, or food, many people will make sure that their shelter is paid for and will skip meals. That’s when people start turning to food banks. 

People who wouldn’t normally have used a food bank suddenly needed them. If they had to pay their rent, but government support wasn’t enough, they started using services they hadn’t used before.  

Suddenly there was a mixed demographic of people looking for help. In the case of our donation, we provided grocery gift cards. We felt a desire to help out across the country.  

We had been doing this type of work before, but the pandemic put a greater sense of urgency on our work.

Why was The Sprott Foundation able to act so quickly in response to the pandemic and food insecurity?

“Because we’re a family and not a corporation, we can be innovative and we can move quickly. We can call a meeting in 24 hours, come to a consensus as a family, and respond fast. We’re all on the same page too, in terms of the impact that we’re trying to make. 

If we make a donation that doesn’t entirely meet its objectives, none of us have to worry about being reelected. I have a lot of empathy for people who work in the government who are trying to fund programs because if they don’t work, the public gets frustrated and seems to think that the money was “wasted.” 

We don’t see it like that. We’ll take a risk and take a chance, and hope it doesn’t flop, obviously, but our livelihoods are not on the line.

For example, the grocery gift cards in the pandemic could have failed and not met the needs of anybody, but we would still have continued our work on our mandate of No Poverty and Zero Hunger. 

What role does relationship-building play in your partnership with Second Harvest?

“After 16 years, a huge part is relationship building. It grows and transforms. When you meet the same people time and again, you develop a rapport on a relaxed and comfortable level. Even though we’re working on a very serious topic, we can smile and have upbeat conversations. 

That’s one of the most special aspects of the collaboration between Second Harvest and The Sprott Foundation. 

It feels like friends working together to solve a problem. 

What is your favourite aspect about partnering with Second Harvest?

“I can call up Lori Nikkel (Second Harvest’s CEO) anytime and vice versa. We have a strong, good relationship—that’s my favourite part!

Also, it’s the work that Second Harvest does—it’s the time and effort, the volunteers, the long hours, and the positive impact that they’re making on people’s lives because of this fresh, nutritious food. It’s so impressive to The Sprott Foundation Board.  

Second Harvest is looking for interesting solutions to a big challenge. But they’re not down, they’re upbeat and positive. I know that there is a serious hunger problem in this country, but there are ways that we can tackle it. When charities say that a situation is so dire and totally hopeless, it makes me doubt that my time, money, support, and energy can make a difference at all. 

With Second Harvest, it resonates with me when they propose ideas that will undoubtedly make a situation better. 

Any final thoughts that you would like to share with us?

“The single biggest thing that I’d like to say is that The Sprott Foundation has the absolute highest level of respect for Second Harvest. We absolutely love collaborating with them because the work that they’re doing is so intelligent and so helpful. 

I’m such a strong believer in using this fresh, healthy, nutritious food. I hope they keep expanding on the amazing work that they’re already doing. 

They’re just fabulous! We love Second Harvest! 

Thank you to Juliana Sprott for speaking with us today and for the generous support that you, your family, and the Foundation’s Board have given Second Harvest for so many wonderful years. 

5 QUESTIONS FOR … Liu Fu Yu Charity Foundation

5 QUESTIONS FOR … Liu Fu Yu Charity Foundation

The Liu Fu Yu Charity Foundation is a small family foundation with a big impact and we are grateful to welcome them as new partners. In this new feature, we asked Bryan Liu five rapid-fire questions about the foundation and their work.

1. Tell us about the Liu Fu Yu Charity Foundation. What motivated you to start a charity? Why do you do the work you do?

Getting involved in charity activities brings happiness to me and gives my life purpose. Liu Fu Yu Charity Foundation commits to supporting health and benefiting the community. Canada is the best country in the world – we should support each other; it is the way to move forward as a great society collectively.

2. How has supporting Second Harvest impacted your team and your greater community?

We are beyond grateful for the tremendously successful campaign that Second Harvest carried out. Every one of us gets inspired by how effective and productive Second Harvest’s response has been to support those in need.

3. If you could say one thing to people and organizations considering supporting Second Harvest, what would it be?

You will get more impact than you think if you consider supporting Second Harvest.

4. Did the Liu Fu Yu Charity Foundation’s giving change in response to the global pandemic?

Our initial commitment is to support health. We decided to support the Second Harvest as soon as we learned that many people are in food insecurity due to the impact of COVID-19.

5. What does “No Waste. No Hunger” mean to The Liu Fu Yu Charity Foundation?

It is not only what it means to the foundation but also what it means to my personal life. My family and I try to not waste food, and then we will continue to try our best to support those in need. In partnership with Second Harvest, we maximized the impact of our charity activities even more than we expected.

Second Harvest Digital Learning for June 2021

Second Harvest Digital Learning for June 2021

As part of the Second Harvest webinar series, Managing Diabetes for Older Adults will provide important and practical information and suggestions. Learn more and register today for the (free!) e-learning course.

Managing Diabetes for Older Adults

Led by Second Harvest’s own registered dietitian Krish Thayalan, this webinar will provide important information about diabetes in older adults, including how to manage diabetes using food, and how to overcome the challenges of managing this condition – including busting some of the myths about the role of sugar and carbs. By the end of this free webinar you will understand the relationship between food and blood sugar levels; learn which types of foods can increase vs. manage blood sugar levels; and get ideas for diabetes-friendly meals suitable for all budgets.

Pro tip: This webinar will be useful to non-profits serving seniors, PSWs and caregivers, as well as family members who want to support a loved one with diabetes.

Managing Diabetes for Older Adults
Monday, June 21, 2021
2:00pm to 3:00pm EST
Register on Eventbrite

We would like to thank Scotiabank for their generous support of this webinar.

McCormick’s: Savouring their Support and Giving Spirit Since 2007

McCormick’s: Savouring their Support and Giving Spirit Since 2007

McCormick and Second Harvest’s partnership began in a logical place for the nearly 140 year-old spice and seasoning brand – over a delicious meal in 2007. But here’s the twist: it wasn’t one meal but three, each prepared by one of Canada’s best chefs at our culinary fundraiser, Toronto Taste, during the epic Chef Challenge on stage in front of nearly 1,000 guests.

Since then, McCormick has been a loyal sponsor of Toronto Taste, as well as the spice sponsor for each Chef Challenge. Their support made Toronto Taste our biggest fundraiser and when COVID-19 caused the cancellation of Taste in both 2020 and 2021, McCormick stepped up to the (dinner) plate to keep supporting our food rescue work and helping to provide Canadians with access to healthy food. 

In 2020, after pandemic restrictions led to camp closures, our Feeding the Future summer camp lunch program pivoted, sending weekly nutrition and activity kits to campers’ families instead. McCormick provided in-kind food donations for the kits which helped families in need bridge the meal gap usually filled by free camp lunches.

In 2021, McCormick were also Silver Sponsors of Feeding the Need, Second Harvest’s first-ever, national online fundraiser, launched when Toronto Taste had to be postponed for another year. Their support enabled us to exceed our goal of raising funds to provide food for one million meals – and we are truly grateful for their partnership and commitment.

“McCormick is all about maximizing flavour, health and togetherness at your family’s table. That’s why we appreciate the chance to partner with Second Harvest and support their food rescue: everyone in our community should have access to experience good, nutritious food,” said Trevor Squires, General Manager for McCormick Canada.

Click below for delicious recipes for you from McCormick.

Mini Frozen Thai Lime Pies

Easy Mac and Cheese

Ginger Soy Chicken Power Bowl

RECIPE: Broccoli Salad, by Centre for Opportunities, Respect and Empowerment

RECIPE: Broccoli Salad, by Centre for Opportunities, Respect and Empowerment


  • 2 crowns broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (white or cider)
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. Place broccoli and onion in a bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar until the sugar is fully dissolved. Set aside.
  3. Add sunflower seeds, raisins, and bacon to the broccoli and onion mixture.
  4. Pour the dressing in and toss all the ingredients until well mixed.
  5. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes or until ready to serve.


About CORE

Centre for Opportunities, Respect and Empowerment (CORE) is a day program that engages individuals with developmental disabilities in activities that support wellness, encourage self-determination and promote social inclusion. CORE provides dozens of participants with a fresh, nutrition meal and snack on a daily basis, with the help of ingredients provided by Second Harvest.