Tag Archive: food bank donations

  1. Back to School Brings New Opportunities

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    As we approach the new school year, families that are already experiencing food insecurity are facing additional challenges as they prepare their school-aged children for September.

    Like many in our community whose employment was disrupted due to the pandemic, Christina lost her full-time position last summer. When she found out one of North York Harvest’s food spaces operates from her neighbourhood community centre, she became a client.

    “Those were trying times after losing my job and having a school-aged child idling at home throughout the summer,” shares Christina.

    Over the last decade, children have made up just over 20% of Canada’s general population yet they represent more than 30% of our food bank clients.

    Christina was appreciative of the additional food she got from North York Harvest every other week. “Not having to constantly worry about getting enough healthy food after paying rent and other necessities is a huge relief.”

    The North York Harvest strives to maintain an accessible and equitable network so that the most vulnerable, especially families with children and seniors, can receive the support they need. Currently North York Harvest is providing emergency food to more than 2,500 individuals each week.

    Our service is made possible by the generosity of community members like The Schulich Foundation.  Please join us in spreading hope, health and well-being for the community, and double your impact before the end of September.

    The Schulich Foundation, one of North York Harvest’s long-standing supporters, wants to ensure the generosity of neighbours-helping-neighbours has an even greater impact and will match all donations, dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000, until September 30. 

  2. 5 Things You May Not Know About Best Before Dates

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    Did you know that every year, the average single-family household in Toronto throws out around 275 kilos of food?  That means that across the city about 1 in 4 purchases end up in the garbage.

    One reason might be that you are throwing out food that has passed its “best before date”. But passed a best before date does not mean best to throw away.

    5 facts that might make you think twice the next time you’re cleaning out your fridge

    1) Best before dates and expiration dates are two very different things.

    A product’s expiration date indicates the last day that product can be safely consumed. The best before date tells the consumer the time period that the food is optimally fresh. It has nothing to do with the product’s safety.

    2) Non-perishable foods will display a best before date and not an expiration date.

    In fact foods like crackers or cereal aren’t required to put any date on their packaging, but often do voluntarily. After that date has passed they may become slightly stale, but won’t do you any harm.

    3) Perishable foods can often be consumed after the best before date.

    The food might begin to lose some of its flavour and nutritional value but that does not mean that the product is in any way unsafe.

    For example, an egg that is passed its best before date might be harder to poach as the yolk is more susceptible to breaking. But the egg is still fine and when scrambled up would taste as good as ever.

    4) When in doubt, throw it out.

    A lot of food is safe and edible after the best before date, but it’s important to check your food before you consume or donate it. If your food has changed colour or appearance, or has developed a bad smell, then it should be thrown out regardless of the expiration or best before date.

    Foods that contain pathogens such as dairy, chicken or ground beef should not be eaten after their bet before date.

    5) North York Harvest will accept donations that are passed their best before dates but NOT EXPIRED food.

    We accept and distribute food donations that are up to 3 months passed their best before dates with the exception of baby food. Before you donate please make sure that none of your donated food has expired, and that the packaging has not been opened or damaged.

    So next time you’re cleaning out the cupboards, think twice about what you’re tossing or donating. Your food donations make a big difference to family in need but always think of donating food that you would eat yourself.

    For more information on how to donate food to North York Harvest or to find out more about why we raise funds to purchase food click here.