5 questions with Cargill

5 questions with Cargill

Second Harvest is grateful and humbled by the incredible corporate support that we receive to fight food insecurity across the country. We had the chance to ask a few questions to Connie Tamoto, Cargill’s Corporate Responsibility Senior Manager in Canada. Cargill has positively impacted communities with their tremendous work and have helped feed those in need.

1. Tell us about charitable partnerships at Cargill. What motivated your commitment to enriching the community? 

At Cargill we work to positively impact communities where our employees live and work. We do this by collaborating with strategic partners across the globe to bring our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way to life. Even though we are a global company, our work starts at the community level, where millions of farmers, ranchers, and producers of all sizes grow the crops, livestock and other ingredients the world needs. Here in Canada, we are committed to giving back because we believe it is the right thing to do – whether that be through volunteering with local charities or partnering with organizations like Second Harvest.

2. How does your partnership with Second Harvest align with Cargill’s corporate values?

At Cargill, our values are do the right thing, put people first and reach higher. With Second Harvest’s commitment and mission to feed people and reduce the environmental impact of avoidable food waste in an innovative way, they embody each of our values every single day. 

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

Second Harvest’s programs that help feed Canadians in need are so important in addressing food security in Canada. The Second Harvest food rescue app is just one example of how the organization is coming up with new and innovative ways to bring surplus food to agencies across Canada including northern communities where there is a need for fresh and shelf-stable foods. 

4. Did Cargill’s community giving strategy change in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Cargill continues to work with nonprofit and NGO partners around the globe to address some of the most urgent needs—including food insecurity and hunger. In addition to monetary donations, we are providing food, ingredients and other high-need products to vulnerable populations. Specially in Canada, Cargill has made contributions to national organizations providing emergency support to Canadians including Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest Canada and Breakfast Clubs Canada. Additionally, the company has partnered with the Canadian Cattleman’s Foundation at the founder’s level to support Canadian producers. 

All in all, our strategy didn’t change per se, but instead we exercised more agility and speed to bring resources and aid to those in our communities quicker. 

5. What does ‘No Waste, No Hunger’ mean to Cargill? 

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient amounts of safe, nutritious and affordable food that meets their daily caloric and nutritional needs and provides the foundation for an active and healthy life. When we support programs like Second Harvest’s food rescue app, we know that surplus food is going to help feed those in need. 

Sami Abdurahim: Second Harvest’s Highway Star

Sami Abdurahim: Second Harvest’s Highway Star

Second Harvest’s very own Sami Abdurahim is the winner of this year’s Highway Star of the Year Award, presented by Today’s Trucking. The Highway Star of the Year exemplifies the best in Canadian truck drivers, who give back to their industry and community, and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to safety and professionalism. This is the first time that a Second Harvest staff member is receiving the award, which was presented to Sami at the Truck World show on April 23rd in Toronto.

Sami joined Second Harvest in 2006 and is the lead driver for our fleet of trucks. Second Harvest drivers do more than simply deliver food from the warehouse. They are a unique, frontline team of driver-ambassadors who work closely with agency staff at homeless shelters, seniors’ centres, after-school programs, food banks and many other non-profits that receive fresh, healthy perishable food. Sami’s professional, patient, and supportive approach is well-known among the agencies on his route. 

Sami drives Second Harvest’s 18-wheel tractor-trailer covering long distances to pick up fresh produce in cities like Leamington or Trenton, which are about three hours away from Second Harvest’s warehouse in Toronto where Sami is based. The tractor-trailer can hold up to 55,000 pounds of food that is delivered to social agencies across southern Ontario. “People are in need, and I have a duty to make their lives better and put food on their tables. When we show up, all we see are people smiling and happy. That’s a big win for us. When they smile and wave and say thank you, that’s the reward.”

Sami explains that his work driving the tractor-trailer requires constant focus and attention to ensure safety on the roads and highways. Driving such a large truck is a big responsibility that leaves no room for error. “Being a Second Harvest driver requires a high skill level because there are kids, there are people with mental health issues and addictions. You must be aware of your surroundings,” he says. “It’s not just putting the key in the ignition. We must always keep an eye out for safety and be on our best behaviour.”

So how does Sami feel about being the winner of this year’s Highway Star award?

“There is no word to describe how it makes me feel. I’ve reached a big goal and it’s one of the best things to ever happen in my life. I’m very honoured and grateful that Highway Star chose me for the award. But it’s not just about me. This award is also a reflection of Second Harvest’s work, of the driver-ambassador team, and of leaders who provided the opportunity to grow and learn every day.”

See the full story from Today’s Trucking HERE.

Volunteer Spotlight: Hyame Fadel-Jardine

Volunteer Spotlight: Hyame Fadel-Jardine

With Second Harvest’s annual event Toronto Taste fast approaching on June 12, 2022, long-time volunteer Hyame Fadel-Jardine takes pride in her role––and Second Harvest is better for it. We had a chance to ask Hyame a few questions about her role and history with Second Harvest and Toronto Taste.

How did you get involved in volunteering with Second Harvest?

My first volunteer experience for Second Harvest was in 2006, an 8:30 am Turkey Drive shift, after having finished work at 11:30 pm the night before. I covered for my mother who was not able to attend. As luck would have it, I worked with the volunteer coordinator at the time who explained Second Harvest’s mission to me. I left Loblaws that morning, with an appointment set up to discuss future volunteering opportunities, and with newfound knowledge about Second Harvest. An organization with a mission to feed the hungry in our city while rescuing food that was needlessly going to waste was one that I wanted to help and support. I have been volunteering ever since, at the office, at special events, including Toronto Taste.  Anything I can do to help, I will. 

When did you get involved with Toronto Taste?

My first Toronto Taste was awe inspiring; it was at The Hangar at Downsview Park. I was amazed at how that space could be transformed into such an elegant venue, all in the space of one day. I still feel that way during every single Toronto Taste I am at. I was stationed in the volunteer room, looking after snacks and food. I observed the staff and other volunteers working together to build chef stations, stock plates, stuff lanyards, decorate and whatever else was needed.  

I have had the privilege to be on the Steering Committee as a Volunteer Lead for the last few years. I enjoy working with the Second Harvest staff to plan a positive experience for the volunteers signing up to help at the event. I am always excited to welcome the over 200 volunteers both new and returning to the venue and to get them ready for the event ahead. 

What is your role with the Toronto Taste volunteer team?

As part of the volunteer lead team, we do what we can to make sure all volunteers are checked in, connected with their site leads, ready for the task ahead, and have a comfortable and welcoming space (and food) to take a break. I always hope that they leave feeling that they have done something great, made some new friends, and would like to help again. It is also so important to ensure that they are aware that whatever task they are assigned is valuable to the mission. 

What have you learned from working with Second Harvest?

I have seen Second Harvest grow from supporting the hungry in Toronto with a small number of trucks, to an organization that connects agencies in need to food that would have gone to waste through Food Rescue. This year is the 30th Anniversary of Toronto Taste!  It is hard to articulate just what it feels like to be part of this landmark year. For an event to be held for this long and with such success, is a testament to Second Harvest, their mission, and the positive effect they have on the communities they serve.  I can’t wait for the event on June 12th!

Click below to get join one of the most exciting and rewarding volunteer programs in Canada!

Hero Truck Pull will Again Inspire, Entertain and Raise Funds for a Great Cause

Hero Truck Pull will Again Inspire, Entertain and Raise Funds for a Great Cause

The 3rd Annual Second Harvest Hero Truck Pull is returning the Nathan Phillips Square this Tuesday, September 13th, 2022! Whether you are pulling with your colleagues – or battling the chains with your friends and family – this event will put your mettle to the test.

The Second Harvest truck weighs 10 tons and your job, with 9 of your closest friends, is to pull it 100 feet across the Square with the fastest time possible. All teams must fundraise a minimum of $2,000 to participate. These donations help with rescuing and redistributing healthy, fresh food from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

If you think you have what it takes to move this truck then register your team today!

The Original Toronto Taste Trio

The Original Toronto Taste Trio

With the 30th anniversary of Toronto Taste, presented by The Daniels Corporation, fast approaching, we are busy chopping, mincing, sautéing, and souffléing behind the scenes in preparation for the event. But first, we’re serving up a little appetizer what is to come by introducing you to the original Toronto Taste Trio!

Back in April 22, 1991, twenty of Toronto’s top restaurants and 500 guests came together at the CN Tower for “Taste of the Nation,” a culinary fundraiser in support of ending hunger and food insecurity. And for the past 30 years, Mark McEwan, Dufflet Rosenberg, and Rodney Clark have been serving up their masterful culinary creations on the front lines at Toronto Taste, generously donating their time, energy, and resources to make a difference for Canadians in need. We are honoured to welcome them back once more this year and cannot wait to sample what they have in store for us!

Meet the Toronto Taste Trio

Mark McEwan

Celebrity Chef and Second Harvest Ambassador Mark McEwan has been an unwavering supporter of Second Harvest’s food rescue program. A famous television personality and owner of several successful restaurants including Bymark and Fabbrica, McEwan is proud to be involved with Second Harvest and its premier culinary event. “Toronto Taste is the most important event of the year in this city,” says McEwan.

First Toronto Taste dish: Tequila-Cured Salmon with Jicama Salad
Dish being served this year: East Cost Scallop Crudo on the Half Shell

Dufflet Rosenberg

Dishing up sweet treats for over 45 years, Dufflet Rosenberg is the founder and owner of Dufflet Pastries.  With her scrumptious and exquisite baked goods, Dufflet Pastries supplies delectable products to restaurants and cafes, specialty food shops, and upscale supermarkets, in addition to running a retail café and two pick up locations.

A year-round Second Harvest supporter, Rosenberg is excited to be part of Toronto Taste’s 30th anniversary. “Toronto Taste is a great opportunity to mingle with all of the other chefs. We are so busy and don’t often get the chance to,” says Rosenberg.

First Toronto Taste dish: Miniature chocolate pecan tarts and butter tarts.
Dish being served this year: Maple Almond Cheesecake Bars

Rodney Clark

Founder and owner of King West institution, Rodney’s Oyster House, known for its quality and freshness, Clark has been a Second Harvest supporter since day one. “Toronto Taste is a great event for a great cause,” says Clark.

First Toronto Taste dish: Mussels with dill vinaigrette.
Dish being served this year: Salt fish patties

Tickets to Toronto Taste are still available, and every dollar raised helps us rescue enough food to provide two meals. So come celebrate with us on Sunday, June 12th at Evergreen Brick Works to eat, drink and make a difference!

Get your tickets now!