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.

Tips to Reduce Food Waste at Home

Tips to Reduce Food Waste at Home

Inflation and food costs are on the rise – yet nearly 21% of all food wasted happens on a household level. That equates to nearly $2,000* worth of food wasted per household per year.

With the United Nations’ International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste taking this month on September 29th, we thought we’d put together a list of tips to support waste reduction at home. 

  • Save your kitchen scraps (onion skins, vegetable tops, skins, and roots, wilted greens, and bones) and use them to make delicious soup stock! Store them in a container in the freezer or fridge until you’re ready to use them.
  • To keep your carrots from going soft, trim the greens off, put the carrots in an airtight container filled with water, and store it in the fridge. 
  • Freeze, preserve, or can surplus fruits and vegetables, especially abundant seasonal produce, to make them last until you are ready to use them. 
  • Best before dates are often misinterpreted as expiry dates, when in fact, they are the manufacturer’s best guess for how long a food item will be at its peak quality. Food products that have surpassed their best before dates (but not their expiry dates) are still perfectly safe to eat. 
  • Store potatoes in a cool, dry place far away from onions! Storing potatoes and onions together causes them to ripen and spoil faster. 
  • Dry leftover herbs on a windowsill or on a baking sheet in the oven until dry and crush them up for quick seasoning. 
  • Save the roots of your green onions and place them in water near plenty of light. Replace the water every other day and watch them re-grow! 

* Figure according to The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste, available to read at

AUTUMN RECIPE: Chicken Stock

AUTUMN RECIPE: Chicken Stock

With autumn on the horizon, it’s time to start wearing sweaters, drinking apple cider and of course, making soups and stews! A good chicken stock recipe is an incredibly versatile base that can be used as a launching pad for so many hearty meals at this time of year. 


  • 4 lbs chicken (neck, legs, wings, backs and other scraps)
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


Place chicken, onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, salt and peppercorns in a large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover, about 1 inch above the chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce head and simmer loosely covered for 2 hours. Occasionally skim off the foam that rises to the surface. Using a colander, strain and reserve the liquid and reserve the liquid. Cool and degrease. May be refrigerated or frozen. Yields 1.5 to 2 quarts.  

Food Waste Tip:

It’s a great idea to make this recipe when you have leftover chicken bones from a previous meal. Instead of throwing these bones away, put them in a pan and roast them in the oven for 30-40 minutes before adding them to your stock. These roasted bones will really elevate the flavour of your chicken stock. Any small pieces of chicken left on the bones are just bonus!

Planting Seeds for the Future of Food Rescue

Planting Seeds for the Future of Food Rescue

Nationally, the need for food is growing rapidly. With increased demand due to the pandemic, along with soaring inflation rates and ongoing supply chain issues, the urgency to get good surplus food to those experiencing hunger is undeniable. This reality has not only made accessing food more challenging for people across the country, but it has also disrupted the ability of food rescue efforts to recover surplus food. 

That’s where Second Harvest’s new warehouse, and the importance of a strong food recovery network, come in. 

In February 2022 we said goodbye to our old office and moved into our new home. With only 500 square feet of fridge and freezer space to work with, our old warehouse was small but mighty and the impact we achieved through that location helped pave the way for our brand-new facility and the incredible growth and impact that come with it. In only a few months since we moved to our new facility, which offers 5,000 square feet of fridge and freezer space, we are already on track to rescue and redistribute more delicious surplus food than ever, and we’re only getting started. 

What is the current landscape of food rescue in Canada, and what are the challenges facing it?

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. Thanks to our expanded warehouse, and through the Second Harvest Food Rescue App, our ability to recover surplus edible food has greatly increased. The pandemic, inflation and supply chain issues continue to disrupt Canada’s food sector. 

How has the need for food rescue grown over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The rapid increase in need that has grown throughout the pandemic is undeniable, and at the local level it is unavoidable. According to Feed Scarborough, the demand for food has grown four times over the past two years. “There is no way that we would be able to support [this need] if it wasn’t for food rescue,” Suman Roy, Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors of Feed Scarborough said. 

Earlier this year, Feed Scarborough joined Second Harvest’s Harvest Kitchens program, enabling the organization to provide healthy prepared meals to fulfill that growing demand and continue to respond to hunger in their local community. 

The Lotus Light agency saw a similar increase in demand in Vancouver. “The need suddenly just… exploded! Maybe four times what we would normally see. Everyone’s suddenly saying ‘I need help,’” Gia Tran, Lead Coordinator of the COVID-19 Community Caring Drive at the Lotus Light Charity Society said.

Throughout the pandemic, Lotus Light was able to increase the amount of food it rescued through Second Harvest’s Food Rescue App, and hasrescued close to half a million pounds of food in the last two years alone. 

“We’re just people in the downtown East side and none of us are paid, we don’t have a vehicle! We just have community, friends, neighbours, schoolteachers that say, ‘Hey I need to get involved”… you’re wondering how did we make it happen? We just did!”

— Gia Tran

Beyond the need for food rescue to respond to growing hunger across the country, food rescue is also helping food businesses. With growing awareness for sustainability and increasing Environmental Social Governance (ESG) goals, more food businesses are joining the Food Rescue App. 

How does Second Harvest fit into the future of food rescue, and what can folks do at home to support?

A sustainable food rescue system enables the operations of social service programs and provides opportunities to reallocate funding. As Suman Roy highlights for Feed Scarborough, “with Second Harvest, all the fresh goods and everything that we get, we do not need to spend that money [on producing food] and can create better infrastructure. We have two trucks right now that we got, we have a walk-in freezer, a walk-in fridge, and we wouldn’t be able to do this without saving and supplementing with Second Harvest’s food rescue.” 

Second Harvest alleviates the burden of the resources needed to procure the food for these programs, allowing the agencies to instead allocate their funding into the programs for which it’s intended or to expand their operations to serve more members of their communities. 

“Food loss and waste is an environmental imperative. That was something people were not talking about even five or six years ago. They were not making the connection…Canada is warming up at a much faster rate than any other country in the world. Even though we’re huge with a small population, it’s going to impact us…Once we understand how all of these things are connected, then we can really mitigate this to some degree. If anybody is familiar with Drawdown, their number one way of managing this is managing food loss and waste. Agriculture is one of the biggest challenges to our climate crisis.”

— Lori Nikkel

Here are some resources to discover additional ways to prevent food waste:

“We are in a climate crisis. We are in a poverty crisis. We are in a food crisis. I don’t use the term ‘crisis’ lightly. This is going to impact us…government has a role to play but we are government. We’re the people. And we drive the change.”

— Lori Nikkel

Watch the entire panel discussion below:

Top Three Takeaways:

  • We have the data, we just need to make the connections. With Second Harvest’s research trilogy, we know where food waste occurs across the food supply chain and have identified the invisible patchwork of community programs that are responding to hunger. To build a sustainable food recovery system, we just have to make the connections. 
  • Perishable food recovery is at the heart of making big impact. Not only does perishable food provide crucial nutrients to people facing hunger, but these donations enable our partner organizations to thrive and envision impact beyond hunger.
  • The time for change is now. We are in challenging times as we face the climate crisis, poverty crisis, and food crisis, but together we have the power to create change. 
Peach Perfection Iced Tea

Peach Perfection Iced Tea

The sun is beating down, cicadas are buzzing, the smell of fresh-cut grass fills the air. On a hot August afternoon, it’s easy to find a reason to relax in the shade with a cold drink! This peach and honey iced tea recipe leverages seasonal farm-fresh ingredients, is easy to assemble and tastes like summer. Don’t be surprised if your friends and family ask you to bring this to every picnic and barbecue this season!


(serves 4-6)

  • 6 cups of water
  • 4 fresh peaches
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 half of a lemon
  • 2 orange pekoe tea bags
  • Mint sprig for garnish


  • Prepare the peaches by removing the pits and chopping them into 3 cm chunks
  • Bring peaches, water honey and sugar to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until peaches are soft
  • Strain the water, removing the peach chunks
  • While water is still hot, add the orange pekoe tea bags and let them steep for 4-5 minutes or longer depending on desired strength
  • Remove tea bags and add the juice of half of a lemon
  • Let the mixture cool completely 
  • Serve over ice with fresh mint

Low Waste tip

After you’ve removed the peach chunks from water, don‘t throw them away! Set them aside, mash them with the back of a spoon and use them as a topping for oatmeal, ice cream or yogurt. They’ve done their job for the tea, but still pack plenty of honey-infused flavour that you can enjoy again.