Update on the City's Food Security Strategy and Programs

Last week, I shared information on the City of Toronto's Food Access Coordination Group, and the development of a Food Security Strategy to respond to urgent needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, I wanted to provide an update on the roll-out of our food security programs in recent days.

In the week since the City's Food Hamper Program launched on April 7, in partnership with the Red Cross and United Way:

  • 488 eligible residents were registered for food hamper delivery
  • 290 food hampers were delivered to isolated individuals
  • 70 is the average age of residents using the food hamper service
  • Each food hamper has a 2-week supply of food
  • Additional deliveries are scheduled for this week
  • More outreach will continue to ensure residents know about this service

As of today:

  • 102 more eligible residents were registered for food hamper delivery 
  • 127 more hampers were delivered to isolated individuals; the majority are seniors

Seniors and others who are self-isolating and need assistance getting food can call 1-833-204-9952 to request this service.

Regarding access to food banks, nine libraries across Toronto are currently serving as food bank locations:

  • 791 families have been served
  • 5 of the 9 locations are in Scarborough due to high needs
  • A 10th library location is being used as a food distribution centre

The best source for up-to-date information on food program availability is 211toronto.ca. Food listings are updated daily as information is received from providers. Residents can call 211 directly, or view the map of open food bank locations at: https://covid19.211central.ca/gta-food-banks/

I want to acknowledge the hardworking and dedicated City staff who have made these programs possible, and remind residents that they can donate directly to local food banks, or drop off non-perishable food donations at your local fire hall.