I Choose Hope

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Help Get Healthy Food to Neighbours like Sandra!

Did you know that after paying rent and utilities, our clients have about $6.67 left per day for food and all other necessities?

Click here to read Sandra’s Story of resilience and hope.

Summer should be a time of enjoying the beautiful weather and taking breaks from work and school to relax and recharge. For some, it’s full of possibilities — from summer camps and vacations, to picnics and BBQs.

Yet, for thousands of families and individuals in our city, there is no break from the daily stress and worry of food insecurity.

The situation is dire as the need for food support continues to surge far above pre-pandemic levels.

At North York Harvest, we’ve seen a 92% increase in client visits since 2019, with a 25% spike last year alone.

Toronto is facing a poverty crisis with increased inflation, low social-assistance rates and unaffordable housing.

Every day, people like Sandra are having to turn to a food bank because they can’t make ends meet.


Sandra’s Story

Sandra is passionate about her work with children with special needs but with rising costs, her income and benefits are not sufficient to ensure food security in our city.

I started coming here a year ago and I am able to meet my needs with the help of North York Harvest. The staff are very kind and friendly, and give their time to meet their community.

After a long day of work, it makes your day to see a friendly face here at North York Harvest, so I always welcome it.It's so hard to make ends meet and I'm trying hard to make it work. Says Sandra

With the pandemic and high cost of living, you would not believe how many of my clients I’ve lost. It’s so hard to make ends meet and I’m trying hard to make it work. Sometimes when you struggle, you keep it quiet inside – but things can get better with help.

If you look, you can see this community faces problems everywhere. On the streets, on the TTC, and it really scared me. But then I thought: do I choose to live in fear? This is my life. Do I choose to accept what life is or be hopeful changes can happen?

picture of smiling woman with quote "I choose hope" next to herThe pandemic made it hard for a lot of people. I was not working and it was getting to my head. But I said, am I going to allow this to destroy me? No, I’m bigger than that.

I choose hope.

Sandra, North York Harvest Client

Sandra’s story embodies the resilience and determination that drive our work. But we can’t do it alone. 

Will you be there for people like Sandra?

The pandemic forced so many in our city into deep food insecurity, including Sandra.

The urgency of our work has never been more pronounced, and your support has never been more critical

Your gift today will help provide emergency food access for so many while empowering us to continue fighting the root causes of poverty.

Our partnership provides vital resources to our community members like Sandra, and enables them to focus on their lives beyond merely surviving.

But without legislation to address affordable housing, social assistance rates and stagnating wages, the need for our services continues to surge.

After paying rent and utilities, our clients have about $6.67 left per day for food and all other necessities, according to our 2023 Who’s Hungry report.

When we join together, we can go beyond short-term support, and continue advocating for much-needed policy changes that will create a more just society, where no one has to rely on a food bank.

These are the real systemic changes we can achieve with and for our community.

Please give generously today, so we can continue providing essential food support to our neighbours, while helping to build an equitable community where everyone can thrive.

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


Collage of North York Harvest staff posing at various food spaces, as as "Together we can build a community where everyone can thrive. Donate Today" is placed beside next to them


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

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