About Us

Food Banks Canada is the only national charitable organization representing and supporting the food bank community across Canada. Learn more about us — how we’re organized, our membership, and our programs.

Learn About Hunger

Close to 900,000 Canadians each month are assisted by food banks. By understanding the nature of the problem, and the possible solutions, we can all do our part to make a difference.

Get Involved

Together, we can make a difference to help reduce hunger and improve the lives of the nearly 900,000 Canadians who turn to food banks each month. Learn how you or your company can contribute.


The latest news about Food Banks Canada, our partners, and our programs, as well as helpful resources for our communications partners and members of the media.

Hunger Fact

of food bank users pay market rent

More Facts

Community Spotlight

Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Food Bank

Nanaimo, BC

Loaves and Fishes Food Bank serves over 1000 people every week.   In 2012 over 5300 different people have used their services, meaning that more than 1 in 20 people in Nanaimo have accessed the Food Bank.  This staggering statistic is indicative of the high unemployment and poverty that exists in the Mid Island region.  Services are provided at 8 different locations throughout the city. A multi depot model has been adopted because of Nanaimo’s extensive geographical area and the diversity of clients served. With the recent completion of a new warehouse and walk in cooler, Loaves and Fishes is working to increase the amount of perishable food donations it receives from individuals and grocery stores. 

Food Banking in Canada

The first food bank in Canada opened its doors in 1981 in Edmonton, Alberta. While food banks were originally intended to be a temporary measure, the need for them continued — and in fact grew.

Today, there are more than 800 food banks and 3,000 food programs in Canada. Most people are aware that food banks offer food assistance. They may not be familiar with the variety of different types of programs offered. These include:

  • sharing hampers of food and personal care products,
  • preparing and serving meals from soup kitchens,
  • operating snack programs,
  • providing post-secondary campus food programs,
  • running community kitchens,
  • organizing community gardens.

In addition, the people who turn to food banks often need other types of assistance. Food banks have responded and many now provide advocacy and supports such as:

  • providing skills training such as food preparation skills,
  • helping people to search for jobs and transition into employment,
  • raising community awareness about hunger and poverty,
  • assisting with the search for safe, affordable housing,
  • helping people find good quality, affordable child care,
  • providing referrals to other social agencies and support services.

Most food banks and food programs depend heavily on volunteers for much or all of their operational activities. In fact, close to 40% of food banks are run solely by volunteers. Their important work is made possible through contributions from corporate sponsors, individual donations, community support, parent organizations, and Food Banks Canada.