When COVID 19 hit, for a moment in time, everyone felt what millions of food-insecure people endure every day. Fear. Fear that there would not be enough food for themselves or their families as grocery shelves emptied with little information about when and if they would be filled again. This pandemic created rapid change, job loss and uncertainty. It demanded Second Harvest accelerate our carefully planned national expansion from three years into mere weeks due to the enormous and immediate need for food.
Fortunately, we had just completed a year-long mapping project that identified the over 60,000 charities and non-profits where low-income Canadians access food. This, coupled with our food rescue app, gave us a head start reacting to the growing need. We were able to provide a record-breaking 22.3 million lbs of nutritious perishable food to over 1.3 million Canadians in 519 communities including northern and Indigenous communities, using airplane delivery when necessary. We also swiftly transitioned our food rescue web and mobile app to become a funding portal.
We formed the Food Rescue Canadian Alliance including charitable, industry, Indigenous, and government partners working together on food security. This vital collaboration informed the Federal Government's $100 million Emergency Food Security Fund and the $50 Million Surplus Food Rescue Program.
In addition, we were internationally recognized by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization for our response to COVID, becoming one of North America’s leading organizations for food recovery.
Read our 2020 Annual Report. [hyperlink: https://secondharvest.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Annual-Report_2020_singlepageview_Dec-12-2020.pdf]