Food insecurity is getting more recognition on a global level. Food for Life is just one of the organizations which have dedicated their mission to fighting food insecurity and unnecessary food waste. With 1 in 10 people battling hunger in the Halton Region, something needs to be done.
Food for Life is working in neighbourhoods and with businesses to ensure that healthy food is accessible to those in need. In 2016, Food for Life distributed over 2.5 million pounds of food with 88% of that food falling into the healthy perishable category. This is the fruit, vegetables, meat, diary and bread that are vital to a healthy nutritious meal.
In the past 18 months, Food for Life has seen a 25% increase in the number of neighbour visits going from 27,000 to over 38,000/month. The need in Burlington is growing as is Food for Life
“Hunger is a complex issue,” says Brenda Hajdu, Executive Director of Food for Life. “We know that people in the Halton Region are food insecure due to lack of funds to purchase food and not due to lack of food itself.”
Food for Life provides the opportunity for individuals, local farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, grocery stores and other businesses to donate excess food to their organization. Collaboration is the key to fighting hunger and Food for Life supports over 80 different food programs throughout the community.
The Burlington Community has recognized that food insecurity is a serious issue and the Chamber of Commerce has named Food for Life their Non-profit organization of the year in business excellence. Award nominations are based on overall business excellence and the criteria include excellence in business leadership, community contributions, entrepreneurship, environment, employee welfare, innovation and market growth.
“We are truly honoured to be nominated for such a prestigious award in Burlington,” says Brenda. “Burlington is a very special community that demonstrates a strong commitment to serving others. We take pride in being among a strong group of corporate citizens committed to helping others. Together, we are able to provide food for more than 200,000 meals each and every month.”
Not only has Food for Life been recognized in the Burlington community, they have also been named one of the top 10 charities in Canada by Charity Intelligence (Ci) based on community impact and social return on investment (SROI). A national body, Ci conducts research to provide Canadian donors with information that helps them make informed and intelligent giving decisions. The Ci provides donors with confidence that their generosity will help Canadians improve their lives. It does this by creating a portfolio of 10 proven, high-impact social service charities, which Food for Life is a part of.
Evidence shows the top 10 Ci ranked charities all make a significant difference in the lives of Canadians and are likely to be the most effective at changing lives. This SROI shows donors how they can deliver the most good for the same level of giving estimating, that a $100 gift produces $1,100 in value for those in need.
“We are humbled and honoured to be receiving such an accolade,” says Brenda. “We were surprised with the announcement. It reinforces the commitment and dedication of this region. As the community knows, every day we strive for excellence, not for awards but to serve our fellow neighbours and community partners.”
Food for Life is able to take one dollar donated into 3 meals to the community or $15 worth of food. They are also fiscally responsible, which means 97.5% of the funding received goes straight into the charitable programs.
Food for Life is working in neighbourhoods across Halton Region to ensure that healthy food is accessible to those in need. Food for Life contributes its success to a dedicated team and committed community partners, such Oak Park Neighbourhood Centre, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Halton, Milton Salvation Army and many more.
Serving community partners is the first step in ensuring all our neighbours have a healthy meal. If you wish to help battle hunger, you can donate time, food or money through foodforlife.ca or at stophungerpains.ca.
Thanks to Food for Life for providing the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance with this piece. For more information contact Sarah Wolf, Communications Engagement Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read our blog post from last year on Food for Life.