Author Archives: Samantha Ho

  1. Double Your Impact

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    Join the Spring Matching Gift Campaign and Double Your Impact!

    “Even with my wife’s part-time wages, making ends meet has been a challenge.” – James*

    Every day, when we read the news, when we talk to people, or when we go out, we are surrounded by stories of someone experiencing the affects of the rising cost of living.

    In 2023, the number of families using our food banks surged to an all-time high, with February and March seeing an astonishing 22% increase in demand.

    In our recent Annual Report, we mentioned “death by a thousand cuts”. Make no mistake, this phrase accurately captures the alarm that we have been feeling as we witness the impact of the many challenges that are facing our clients, our neighbours and our community. This makes James’ story even more poignant.  

    Working full-time as a personal support worker, and his wife working part-time due to caring for their two-year-old son and five-year-old daughter, James’ family cannot keep up with the soaring rent, gas, and grocery costs. The cost of living has just risen too high. 

    A family photo with the father on the far left, daughter, and son being held by the mother

    Will you help families like James’?

    Donate Today and Double Your Impact!

    The Schulich Foundation will match your gift, dollar for dollar up to $200,000, until April 30.

    Your impact will go twice as far to help more neighbours, like James, support their families and regain their footing.

    James shares a familiar story that we often hear from our clients. Coming to a food bank is often the last resort for parents like James, and they are so grateful for the food that donors like you help to provide.

    North York Harvest has been a great resource for us,” James said.

    Every gift, no matter the amount, makes a difference.  Thank you!


    Happy parents cuddling with two little children sitting together to promote donations to spring match campaign

    The Schulich Foundation will match your donation up to a maximum of $200,000 until April 30, 2023.


    *This is a true story from a client. The names and images have been changed to protect their privacy.

  2. More Canadians leaving a gift to charity in their Wills

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    Why more Canadians are leaving a gift to charity in their Wills.

    We are lucky. Our supporters are thoughtful individuals, who share a concern for finding long-term food solutions and are committed to building a better future.

    Often people think about contributing to the causes they care about with monthly donations or volunteering time, but there is a growing number of people who are going one step further to leave a gift to charity in their Wills. These are ordinary Canadians who’ve realized they can make a powerful contribution that will last for generations to come, without taking away from the resources they or their families need.

    Multigenerational family wearing blue t-shirts with caption a little kindness can change everything

    This new mindset among Canadians of all ages has been triggered, to some extent, by the intensity of recent global events and the realization that it’s possible to do more just by giving in a different way.

    In fact, if more Canadians left even a minuscule percentage of their estate to charity, the sum of all their efforts could represent as much as $40 billion to advance causes like ours.

    When you look into it, you may be surprised to learn that a donation of as little as a 1% of your estate can result in a bigger contribution than you ever thought possible. You are still leaving 99% of your estate to support your loved ones, and you’re not using any of the money you need now.

    The best part is that leaving a gift in your Will can be a very simple process. Here are a few suggestions that can help you take the next steps:

    1. Calculate your donation. You can determine how much you want to leave to charity, and how much you want your loved ones to receive, with a simple calculation. You can make that calculation using the Legacy Calculator tool developed by Will Power, a national public education campaign designed to inspire Canadians to think differently about charitable giving.

    2. Discover the tax benefits. Did you know the Canadian government has created some of the best tax incentives in the world to encourage more giving to charity, especially from your estate? Just to cite an example, this article illustrates how a couple’s financial advisor helped them give big to charity and take advantage of the tax benefits, all while leaving a sizeable inheritance for their daughters.

    3. Ask a financial advisor. Consulting a financial expert can help you maximize your donation and ensure it works in your favour. You can use Will Power’s Financial Advisor Finder to match with an expert in your region. There is also a handy guide available to start the conversation with your advisor here.

    4. Find out how to keep the love going. Learn how a gift in your Will to North York Harvest Food Bank would be used to help our neighbours in need here. Or you can contact us to find out more.

    Three generation women's family at home

    Who would have thought of a Will as a powerful tool to make change in the world? But more and more Canadians are harnessing the power of their Wills to become larger-than-life philanthropists who continue to inspire others and make an impact on the future. Join the movement and keep the love going for what matters to you!

    parents with their children to promote willpowerLearn how you can turn your Will into a powerful tool for change at



  3. Who’s Hungry 2022

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    Who’s Hungry Report 2022: A Story of a System Under Strain

    In partnership, Daily Bread Food Bank and North York Harvest Food Bank have released the annual Who’s Hungry 2022 report profiling hunger, poverty, and system strain in Toronto. With a wide reach across the city, our collective network of 200 food programs serve as an early warning sign of the effectiveness of our system. This year’s report highlights the record growing levels of demand faced by food banks, with no signs of slowing down.


    During the reporting period, a record 1.68 million food bank visits were recorded in Toronto, up 16% from the previous record of 1.45 million last year. Over the past twelve months, visits have reached 1.99 million. Demand is projected to reach over two million visits by the end of 2022.

    Contributing factors to the strain we are seeing include:

    • Low incomes and high housing costs are pushing people to food banks
    • Record inflation rates are accelerating the number of visits
    • A growing and more significant number of people relying on food banks have jobs
    • Of those employed, 60% reported holding a precarious job with low wages and little to no benefits

    Insufficient income drives food insecurity. Most clients are trapped in deep poverty, reporting incomes that are half of Canada’s official poverty line. People on the social and economic margins are the ones using food banks.

    We need systemic long-term solutions to end food insecurity. We will never solve food insecurity and poverty until the systemic issues perpetuating inequities in our communities are fixed. Poverty reduction needs to be addressed by government as the duty-bearers. We call for the following:

    • Guaranteed income security and the elimination of systemic poverty
    • Solutions to Toronto’s housing affordability crisis
    • Mitigations for the steep increases in the cost of living

    As part of North York Harvest’s commitment to providing dignified food assistance, education, advocacy, and long-term food solutions, we will continue to collaborate with the other community organizations, the government, and our partners in the private sector to achieve our vision of a community where all members are able to meet their food needs.

    To read our full report, click here.

  4. Centerpoint Mall Food Drive

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    From October 5 to 8, Centerpoint Mall will be running a Food Drive for North York Harvest. For every donation of non-perishable food items worth $10 or more, you will receive an eco bag from Centerpoint Mall!

    A bag on a white background with text on an orange background talking about a food drive.

    Share your photo with the centre on Instagram or Facebook to get a chance to win a $100 shopping spree.

    For more information, please click here

  5. Fall Food Drive

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    On October 1 & 2, join North York Harvest at Loblaws Superstore (Bayview Village) for our Fall Food Drive and help a family in need. 

    Date: Saturday, October 1 & Sunday, October 2

    Time: 10 A.M – 2 P.M.

    Location: Loblaws Superstore (Bayview Village), 2877 Bayview Ave, Toronto

    For more information, please contact 

    Come out and support families in need during this giving season or donate here