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.

World Food Day Facts

World Food Day Facts

What is World Food Day? 

World Food Day takes place every year on October 16 – the day that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was founded in 1945. It is a day celebrated internationally to raise awareness about food insecurity and its contributing factors, as well as to promote action regarding these issues. 

Why is World Food Day Important? 

Although we produce enough food globally to feed everyone, hunger remains present in every nation on Earth. In Canada, 1 in 7 households report experiencing food insecurity, and between 720 to 811 million people faced hunger worldwide in 2020 alone. Poverty, war and conflict, climate change, resource misallocation, government policy and economic downturns are all factors that impact and intersect with food insecurity. World Food Day provides an opportunity to reflect on these issues and focus on finding solutions. 

How is World Food Day observed?  

World Food Day is observed by organizations who, like Second Harvest, operate within the realm of hunger and food insecurity. Every year, World Food Day adopts a different theme to highlight a particular area of focus. The theme of World Food Day 2022 is “Leave NO ONE behind”. 

What are the biggest challenges facing food security in Canada? 

To truly understand the state of food rescue in Canada, Second Harvest conducted world-first research illustrating the opportunities and current realities of food rescue through a trilogy of reports. The first of these reports, The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste, found that 58% of all food produced in Canada (35.5 million tonnes) is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, of which 32% (11.2 million tonnes) is avoidable and can be redirected to feed our communities. The second report, Canada’s Invisible Food Network, discovered that there is a massive but disconnected patchwork of over 61,000 agencies and organizations in Canada that provide food to people in need. The final report, Wasted Opportunity: Rescuing Surplus Food in a Throwaway Culture, established that 96% of surplus, edible food is not being rescued. Together, these reports highlight a crucial opportunity. There is a tremendous amount of food out there that can be rescued – enough to feed every Canadian for 5 months! – but is instead ending up in landfills. 

What is Second Harvest doing to help? 

Everyone deserves access to quality, nutritious food. At Second Harvest, we ensure that all people, regardless of their economic situation, can access the healthy food they need for success.  

Working together with thousands of food businesses, transportation and cold storage providers, as well as through our GTA fleet and warehouse, our goal is to increase our impact across Canada by rescuing 72 million pounds of healthy and nutritious food each year. These resources will be redistributed to ten thousand front-line and non-profit food programs, providing direct support to children, youth, seniors, families and individuals all throughout the country. 

Second Harvest is also committed to raising awareness of the impact that food loss and waste has on our climate. We will continue to advocate for public policy change aimed at mandatory measurement, monitoring and targets of food loss and waste reduction to align with Canada’s UN commitment of reducing food loss and waste in half by 2030. 

What can I do? 

You can make a difference on World Food Day by supporting Second Harvest’s critical mission of growing an efficient food recovery network to fuel people and reduce the environmental impact of avoidable food waste. 

As food costs rise, more and more Canadians find themselves facing food insecurity. Becoming a Second Harvest donor is the best way to help people in need right in your community. Make your donation today at secondharvest.ca/donate.

Heart, Muscle & Spirit Shine Bright at the 2022 Hero Truck Pull Challenge

Heart, Muscle & Spirit Shine Bright at the 2022 Hero Truck Pull Challenge

What does it take to pull a 15,000 pound food delivery truck across Nathan Phillips Square? A little muscle, a lot of heart, and a good pair of shoes! 

On September 13, 2022, Canada’s most “heroic” challenge to end hunger and food waste returned after a two-year long hiatus, and we were overwhelmed by the support and generosity of everyone who participated. A total of 17 corporate teams competed against each other to pull a Second Harvest delivery truck 100 feet across Nathan Phillips Square. Not even a bit of rain could stop our intrepid teams from completing the challenge and getting their trucks to the finish line! And thanks to their valiant fundraising efforts, we have reached our fundraising goal!

Congratulations to the winning teams from each heat! 

  • Heat 1: Granite REIT – 18.63 seconds 
  • Heat 2: IFDS – 16.13 seconds (also fastest of the day!) 
  • Heat 3: Hydro One – 22 seconds 
  • Heat 4: Atripco – 16.85 seconds 
  • Heat 5: Spark Power – 16.82 seconds 
  • Heat 6: OMERS – 17 seconds 
  • Heat 7: Daily Bread Food Bank – 18.03 seconds 
  • Heat 8: TELUS – 19.03 seconds

Thank you to our event sponsors – Manverywell Fitness, Protégé School, and Salad King – for making sure participants were warmed up, well-fed and pampered!

The Second Harvest Hero Truck Pull Challenge is a one-of-a-kind race that puts your strength and teamwork to the test while making a massive difference for communities in need across Canada.For more information on Second Harvest’s Hero Campaigns, visit secondharvest.ca/hero

Zero-Waste Pumpkin Recipes: From Soup to Seed Pesto

Zero-Waste Pumpkin Recipes: From Soup to Seed Pesto

It’s pumpkin and squash harvest season! October marks the height of fall harvest and hunkering down at home with warming, hearty soups. But October is also Canada’s Waste Reduction Week and now Circular Economy Month where we all get creative in reducing our waste. In keeping with our zero-waste efforts at home, we’re featuring three pumpkin recipes that can be combined altogether for a delicious roasted pumpkin with seed pesto soup or made separately. Every part is used and nothing is wasted.

Please enjoy these no-waste recipes courtesy of celebrity chef Bob Blumer!

Pumpkin Seed Pesto and Pumpkin Pie Soup

Roasted Pumpkin or Harvest Squash Sheet Pan:

  • 1 3-pound (ish) kabocha squash or equivalent weight of another edible pumpkin
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup shelled pumpkin seeds—aka pepitas. you can shell your own if you are industrious, or purchase them.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Half squash, then scoop out and discard guts and seeds 
  • Cut each half into 4 wedges. 
  • In a large bowl, toss squash with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Place on a sheet pan cut side up. Repeat with onion.
  • Roast for 1 hour, turning pan once, or until the squash and onion are soft and nicely browned. 
  • 5 minutes before pulling the sheet pan out of the oven, add the pumpkin seeds to the sheet pan and return to oven.

Zero-Waste Pumpkin Seed Pesto:

  • 4 wedges of roasted squash (included in Sheet Pan ingredients)
  • 1/3 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (included in Sheet Pan ingredients)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems discarded
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Let pumpkin seeds cool

To a food processor, add pumpkin seeds, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons water. Puree. Serve pesto overtop roasted squash wedges.

Servings: 4

Pumpkin Pie Soup

  • 4 wedges of roasted squash (included in Sheet Pan ingredients)
  • 1 roasted onion (included in Sheet Pan ingredients)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 quart chicken or veggie stock 
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spices
  • Discard squash skin
  • To a blender, add roasted squash, roasted onion, coconut milk, 3 cups stock, spices and salt and pepper to taste. Puree until smooth. Add more stock or water if necessary to thin out to your desired degree of thickness
  • Reheat before serving.

Servings: 4

Enjoy!

Donor Spotlight: Paul Massey

Donor Spotlight: Paul Massey

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.