Second Harvest Toronto

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Second Harvest Toronto is a food rescue and redistribution charitable organization that strives to decrease hunger in the city of Toronto. The organization is based on the principle that fresh and prepared food should not be going to waste while in the same city people are hungry. As of 2010, Second Harvest rescues food from 600 food providers in the Greater Toronto Area including restaurants, grocery stores, and food warehouses. The organization delivers food using a fleet of eight refrigerated trucks that deliver the food to 200-plus [1] social service agencies in Toronto, including soup kitchens, women’s shelters, children’s programs, and drop-in centers.[2] Food is re-distributed within 24 hours, and most often the same day.[3] Second Harvest organizes several special events each year, the largest of which are Toronto Taste and Second Harvest Hero Day (formerly called "Lunch Money Day") each year to add to their fund-raising base.[4]

History and timeline[edit]

Second Harvest Toronto was founded in April 1985 by Ina Andre and Joan Clayton, who also founded Windfall Basics in 1991.[5] Under the direction of Andre and Clayton, the organization began small and consisted of picking up waste food in a hatchback from restaurants and grocery stores and distributing it across the city.[6]

In 1994, the Ontario Legislature passed the “Donation of Food Act”[7] or Good Samaritan Legislation releasing those who donate food or distribute donated food from liability in the event that an individual is affected by the consumption of that food, provided that due diligence is exercised. This act enabled Second Harvest Toronto to accept donations from large food corporations, helping the organization to grow substantially.[8]

April, 2010 - Second Harvest Toronto marked 25 years of delivering fresh, surplus food to Toronto's hungry.

August 26, 2010 - A milestone in the organization's 25 year history, Second Harvest Toronto rescued and delivered 6 million pounds of food in one year for the first time ever.[9]

August 19, 2011 - Second Harvest launches SHOP (Second Harvest Outreach Program), an innovative food sharing program that, in partnership with community groups, brings healthy, excess food to Torontonians living in “food deserts”.[10]


  1. ^ "Buy a Turkey for the Needy: An interview with Stephen Faul" National Post Toronto Section. Saturday, December 12, 2009. Accessed January 19, 2010.
  2. ^ Rainford, Lisa. "Annual concert helps feed the hungry."The Villager Toronto. November 27, 2009.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Harlequin Honours Joan Clayton and Ina Andre of Windfall" Toronto Star, March 31, 2009. accessed January 25, 2010.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Accessed January 19, 2010
  8. ^ Robins, Abby, ed. Second Harvest Times, "Volunteer Reception 2005." July 2005. Accessed January 19, 2010
  9. ^ Second Harvest
  10. ^

See also[edit]

  • Archer, Bert. "Giving food a second chance: Leftovers and Gas" The Edible City: Toronto's food from farm to fork. Christina Palassio and Alana Wilcox, eds. Coach House, Toronto: 2009.
  • Tarasuk, Valerie and Joan M. Eakin, "Food assistance through “surplus” food: Insights from an ethnographic study of food bank work." Agriculture and Human Values Springer Netherlands. Volume 22, Number 2 / June, 2005, p. 177-186. ISSN 0889-048X (Print) 1572-8366 (Online).

Phillips, James. "Ontario's Donation of Food Act," Viewpoint. Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, p. 3-8. Accessed January 19, 2010.

External links[edit]