If your family doesn’t have enough to eat, it’s important to remember that help is available. When you visit the Ontario food bank nearest to you, you’ll be given a supply of healthy food by volunteers or staff who will treat you with dignity and respect. Read on to find out what you can expect when you visit a food bank, and to locate the one nearest to you.
Where can I find a food bank?
To find a food bank near you, check the list on this page, or visit the Ontario Association of Food Banks’ website. Each food bank will have different hours, so when you find the one nearest to you, be sure to check out their website or to give them a call before you go.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
On your first visit, the food bank might ask you to show photo ID with your name and address on it, or other types of documentation. Check the food bank’s website for a list of the documents you’ll need, or else call ahead and ask.
How much food will I get?
Food banks often have to serve a large number of people and have a limited supply of food. For this reason, different food banks have different rules about how much they’re able to give. They’ll also have different types of food available at different times (depending on what has been donated). In general, though, you can expect the food bank to offer you anywhere from 3 to 10 days worth of food.
What kinds of food will I get?
You should receive both canned/packaged foods and fresh food like milk, vegetables or meat.
Most food banks will do their best to give you some choice. For example, they might ask if you want peanut butter, what kind of beans you’d prefer, or if you drink coffee, tea or hot chocolate. They might also ask if you have pets that you need food for. If your family has a baby, they’ll offer you infant formula or diapers if they’re available.
Is it embarrassing to visit a food bank?
The people who work at food banks want you to feel comfortable. In fact, some of them have been in situations where they’ve had to rely on food banks themselves, so they understand how you might be feeling. They’ll do their best to respect your privacy while asking any necessary questions about your family income or situation.
What languages do the people at food banks speak?
Most Ontario food banks operate in English, but some of the volunteers and staff may be able to speak a second language. If they’re able to communicate in your first language, they’ll probably be happy to do so. If not, don’t worry! Hand gestures and basic English will likely be enough for you or your parents to place a food order.
Find a food bank near you:
AuroraYork Region Food Network 350 Industrial Parkway South P: (905) 841-3101
BarrieBarrie Food Bank 42 Anne Street South P: (705) 725-1818
BellevilleQuinte Region Food Share Shelter (QRFSS) 25 Wallbridge Crescent P: (613) 962-9043
BracebridgeManna Food Bank 325 Fraserburg Road P: (705) 646-0114
BrockvilleOperation Harvest Sharing 58 Buell Street P: (613) 342-0605
CobourghFood 4 All Northumberland 600 William St. P: (905) 373-8566
DurhamDurham & District Food Bank 350 Douglas Street P: (519) 369-6860
GuelphGuelph Food Bank 100 Crimea St., Unit C12 P: (519) 767-1380
HamiltonHamilton Food Share 339 Barton St. P: (905) 664-9065
KingstonPartners in Mission Food Bank 140 Hickson Ave. P: (613) 544-4534
Kitchener/WaterlooThe Food Bank of Waterloo Region 50 Alpine Court P: (519) 743-5576
LondonLondon Food Bank 926 Leathorne St. P: (519) 659-4045
MississaugaThe Mississauga Food Bank 2550 Goldenridge Road, Unit 36 P: (905) 270-5589
Niagara FallsProject S.H.A.R.E 4129 Stanley Ave., Unit 2 P: (905) 357-5121
North BayNorth Bay Food Bank 1319 Hammond Street P: (705) 495-3290
Oakville/BurlingtonFood For Life: ReFresh Foods 2258 Mountainside Dr. Burlington, Ontario P: (905) 510-5724
OttawaOttawa Food Bank 1317B Michael Street P: (613) 745-7001
PeterboroughKawartha Food Share 665 Neal Drive P: (705) 745-5377
Sault Ste. MarieThe Salvation Army Community & Family Services 78 Elgin St. P: (705) 759-4143
SudburyBanque D'aliments Sudbury Food Bank 1105 Webbwood Drive P: (705) 671-9663
Toronto (North York)North York Harvest Food Bank 640 Lawrence Ave. West P: (416) 635-7771
TorontoDaily Bread Food Bank 191 New Toronto Street P: (416) 203-0050
The Stop Community Food Centre 1884 Davenport Rd P: (416) 652-7867