FoodShare is a non-profit organization established in 1985. Through their work with schools and communities, they deliver nutritious surplus food, provide food education and establish innovative programs to improve healthy food access in Toronto. FoodShare was initiated by 1985 Toronto Mayor Art Eggleton’s $20,000 pilot program to address hunger in Toronto by providing emergency food aid through management of surplus food donations and emergency food drives.
View FoodShare’s founding document from the City of Toronto – a 1985 letter to the City’s Executive Committee titled “A Concept to Help Fight Hunger in Toronto”.
FoodShare’s initial key services were to:
- Establish the Hunger Hotline (years later renamed FoodLink), a phone service to inform people about the emergency food programs that would best meet their needs
- Research the causes of increased hunger and food bank use to provide Toronto City Council with recommendations for action.
In 1986, FoodShare began advocating for long-term solutions to hunger by lobbying to address the social inequities that can affect food access.
FoodShare started the Food Action Project, and in 1986 was successful in getting first a Federal then a Provincial grant to do this work. In 1989, the Food Action Project was launched, with support from federal funding to help residents organize community gardens, dinners, and bulk buying clubs, organize trips to farmers markets and ‘U-Pick’ farms, community run restaurants, and create a shopping directory of budget stores.
The Toronto Food Policy Council developed a feasibility study for a not-for-profit healthy food delivery system for Toronto’s low-income citizens. Operational control of the “Field to Table” program was assumed by FoodShare in 1992. It provides affordable, nourishing, regionally-sourced food to 15,000 people each month.
Today FoodShare operates a large number of programs including student nutrition programs, educational workshops, a mid-scale composting facility, mobile good food markets, cooking programs, and community engagement events. For details visit: http://www.foodshare.net/