Good Food Starts Here

2016 Impact Report


Low-income Canadians struggle with high levels of food insecurity, poor health, and social isolation. Thanks to our generous donors, we invested $3.6 million in the community food sector in 2016, reaching 280,000 low-income Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Building Community
Food Centres

We work with partners to build dignified, welcoming places in underserved neighbourhoods where rates of poverty and poor health are high, good food is hard to find, and there are few community spaces where people can come together.

Two new Community Food Centres opened in 2016, in Calgary and Hamilton. There are now 8 Community Food Centres across Canada.

Community Food Centres offered
program sessions that increased access to healthy food, taught food skills, increased belonging, and provided ways for people to become engaged in making change in their communities.

Examples of Community Food Centre programs:

  • Community Meals
  • Good Food Market
  • Community Action Training Program
  • Seniors' Community Kitchen
  • FoodFit
  • Seed, Feed, and Lead
  • Women In The Garden
  • Social Justice Club
  • Family Harvest Kitchen


  • The Stop CFC
    Toronto, ON
  • The Table CFC
    Perth, ON
  • The Local CFC
    Stratford, ON
  • Regent Park CFC
    Toronto, ON
  • NorWest Co-op CFC
    Winnipeg, MB
  • Dartmouth North CFC
    Dartmouth, NS
  • The Alex CFC
    Calgary, AB
  • Hamilton CFC
    Hamilton, ON


We believe that collaboration leads to bigger impact so we act as a central knowledge exchange hub for our partner Community Food Centres, Good Food Organizations, and the broader community food security sector.

We supported this growing network of organizations with
in grants in 2016

We also offered
training sessions and workshops
online and at our national Food Summit that facilitated shared learning, networking, and mutual support.

There are now
Good Food Organizations
working from shared good food principles to provide health- and equity-building programs to their communities.

They’re located in more than
cities and towns, including:

  • Baddeck, NS
  • Brampton, ON
  • Burnaby, BC
  • Iqaluit, NU
  • Lethbridge, AB
  • Lloydminster, SK
  • Medicine Hat, AB
  • Montreal, QC
  • North Bay, ON
  • Ottawa, ON
  • Surrey, BC
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Windsor, ON
  • Moncton, NB


Through public education, outreach, and engagement activities, we create opportunities for Canadians to talk about the important role food plays in building healthy and inclusive communities.

We also engaged
150,000+ Canadians
in progressive conversations
about health, equity, inclusion, and solidarity, and how we can work together to build a future where access to healthy food is a basic right.


  • Reducing diet-related illness through fruit-and-vegetable prescriptions
  • The causes and solutions to social isolation
  • Health regulation in the age of processed food
Community events
Public talks and presentations
Op-eds and media stories
125,000 +
Engaged followers on social media


With our partners, we are working to ensure everyone has a place at the table. This is the impact we had in 2016.


"I think this is the best thing that has happened to our neighbourhood."
- Dartmouth North Community Food Centre participant

We start
good food

93% of people surveyed say their Community Food Centre provides an important source of healthy food

To foster better health, belonging,
and engagement

66% say they’re eating more fruits and vegetables

56% say their physical health has improved because of their involvement with their CFC

95% say they feel they belong to a community at their centre

54% say they’re more engaged in community issues


“As a small, grassroots organization on Vancouver Island, we sometimes feel like we’re working in a bit of a silo. It’s amazing to be part of a larger group doing good food work across Canada. And the trainings and materials have been so helpful to our growing organization.”
- Andrea Cupelli, Program Coordinator, LUSH Valley Food Action Society

We start
good food principles

89% of Good Food Organizations say they’ve made more fresh, healthy food available to program participants

To inspire
more empowered

58% say they’ve made changes to their space to make it more dignified and welcoming

88% say they’re dedicating more staff or volunteer time to education and advocacy initiatives that impact poverty and food security


“Best part about @TEDxToronto is being inspired by talks like @njsaul to actually go out and do something. We all play a role in change.”
- Kirsten Jordan (@kbear) on Twitter

We start
a conversation

"Hungry for change: the food centre revolution"
Best Health Magazine
August 17, 2016

To create a
shift in

Poverty is not a lifestyle choice! Mobilizing for Change means organizing & being fearless.

“The Food 53: Those who are considering the way forward for food”
The Globe and Mail
August 10, 2016


Every year, we talk to hundreds of Community Food Centre program participants as part of our Annual Program Survey, which we use to evaluate and improve the impact of programs. In 2016, we sat down with 375 community members in Winnipeg, Dartmouth, Toronto, Stratford, and Perth to find out how coming to their Community Food Centre has affected their lives.


People told us that because they are able to access healthy food through their Community Food Centre, they are:

  • Eating more healthy foods and eating less junk and processed foods
  • Having less difficulty getting enough food
  • Having a better time financially
  • Experiencing improved/better health
  • Feeling more informed about healthy food
  • Feeling more motivated to eat a healthy diet


People told us that since taking part in CFC programs, they are:

  • More active as a result of healthier eating
  • Getting more exercise
  • Getting out and socializing more
  • Maintaining a healthier weight
  • Feeling more energetic


80% of people say they’ve made healthy changes to their diets, including:

  • Eating more fresh foods
  • Eating less salt
  • Eating less sugar
  • Eating more vegetable protein
  • Eating fewer processed foods
  • Eating more regularly
  • Eating less red meat
  • Trying not to overeat


61% of people say they’ve experienced improvements in their mental health since they came to their CFC. People told us they are:

  • Less depressed and happier
  • Less isolated
  • Less stressed
  • Less anxious

Note: Some participants mentioned more than one of the above improvements

“The Community Food Centre has helped me with physical, mental and spiritual survival. The food helps with nutrition. The people help with loneliness. It gives me a sense of belonging and community.”

- Participant at the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre


People told us how coming to their Community Food Centre has helped them manage their chronic conditions:

68% of participants had been diagnosed with one or more chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and depression.

67% of those diagnosed reported that their CFC was helping them manage one or more of their conditions.


People told us how their thinking has changed since they came to their CFC:

  • more aware of issues in their community, such as poverty and unemployment
  • more empowered to take action and make a difference
  • more connected to their community
  • thinking more positively
  • more compassionate for other people
  • more positive about their community and feeling less alone


76% say they’ve made new friends at their CFC that they feel close to, can talk to about what’s on their mind, and could call on for help.

82% say they feel a somewhat strong or very strong sense of belonging to their community.


People told us the most important difference they’ve experienced in their lives since they started coming to their CFC:

  • they are socializing more and making new friends
  • they have gained a stronger sense of community belonging
  • they feel less isolated and lonely
  • they are eating healthier
  • they have more healthy food knowledge and skills
  • they have improved physical and mental health

This information is based on results from our 2016 Annual Program Survey. From August to November 2016, we interviewed 375 adult program participants at five Community Food Centres—Dartmouth North, The Local, The Table, NorWest Co-op, and Regent Park. Those surveyed were participants from across three program areas: food access, food skills, and education and engagement

Success stories




The Community Advocacy Training program brings people with lived experience of poverty together to talk about the issues facing their communities, and trains them to help people access housing, social assistance, and other supports. Through the program, participants build the skills, knowledge, and networks they need to take action and advocate for change. Graduates become advocates in Community Food Centre Peer Advocacy Offices, where they help neighbours in need of support.

Why It Matters

To find solutions to food security and poverty that really work for the people most affected by these issues, we need to create opportunities for them to bring their voices to the table. We know that access to food is just one of several concerns facing low-income Canadians, and that asking for support can be difficult. By bringing their lived experience to their work, Peer Advocates can meet people where they’re at and help take social stigma out of the equation.


There were more than 3,000 visits to Peer Advocacy Offices at Community Food Centres in 2016. 91% of visitors surveyed said going to the office helped them resolve an issue they were facing. And 70% said they had accessed a community resource based on information they had received from a Peer Advocate.



The Good Food Organizations program grew to include more than 100 Canadian and international community food security organizations in 2016. By joining, members are able to connect with like-minded organizations facing similar challenges or opportunities, share local knowledge and expertise with the wider network, access tools and support, and take advantage of opportunities for staff leadership and exchange. 72% of Good Food Organizations say joining the program has somewhat or significantly helped them achieve their goals. And 58% have built relationships with other organizations through the program.



George Weston Limited employees made a significant local and national contribution to our movement through the Weston Seeding Stronger Communities initiative in 2016. They started out by seeding, mulching, weeding, and watering in community gardens at The Stop and Regent Park Community Food Centres. But they didn’t stop there. During a month-long employee fundraising campaign, they dug even deeper and raised more than $114,000 which, when matched by the company, added up to almost $230,000 in new funds to support child- and youth-focused programs at local CFCs and leadership on youth food programs from Community Food Centres Canada. We’re thankful to everyone who participated for showing how much can be accomplished when we work together.




We designed the 12-week FoodFit program to support people living on low incomes to make lasting and sustainable changes to their health. The program combines hands-on cooking sessions with take-home recipes, nutrition education, group exercise, and a sup- portive environment that reinforces sustainable progress. A total of 31 FoodFit programs were delivered by nine organizations in 2016. A major investment from the Public Health Agency of Canada will allow us to offer 29 grants over five years to further roll out FoodFit in communities across Canada.

Why It Matters

FoodFit strives to empower participants to make lasting changes towards healthier eating and daily physical activity they can live with. Facilitators help participants understand their own motivation for change and set SMART goals, provide a fun and supportive environment that’s conducive to learning and building confidence, and use a variety of health measures to recognize and celebrate self-defined improvements in participants’ physical, mental and social health.


Participant evaluations show that 83% of FoodFit graduates improved their food preparation and safety skills. 62% increased their daily average steps over the course of the program – on average, the program boosted steps by over 2,000 per day per person. 25% of participants lowered their blood pressure status, and 64% of participants with a pre-existing chronic health condition said FoodFit helped them better manage their condition. 93% of graduates made a social connection they feel they can count on for ongoing support.


The generous support of the following individuals, foundations, government agencies and businesses directly contributed to our 2016 results. Their contributions supported the development of centres, programs, events, evaluation and other centralized leadership resources. Funders and sponsors that contributed to Community Food Centres Canada are listed for the period between January 1 and December 31, 2016 for contributions of $1,000 or more.

  • $1,000,000 +
  • The Sprott Foundation

  • $250,000 to $999,999
  • Joannah and Brian Lawson
  • The Lawson Foundation
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation

  • $100,000 to $249,999
  • The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
  • Loblaw Companies Limited
  • Metcalf Foundation
  • Peter Gilgan Foundation
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Weston - Seeding Stronger Communities
  • The Young Fund at Hamilton Community Foundation

  • $50,000 to $99,999
  • CIBC
  • McLean Smits Family Foundation
  • RBC
  • Zwilling J.A. Henckels*

  • $20,000 to $49,999
  • Ace Bakery
  • Beth Malcolm Family Fund at Toronto Foundation
  • Judy and Alan Broadbent
  • Brookfield Partners Foundation
  • Catherine Donnelly Foundation
  • The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation
  • The CGOV Foundation
  • Kathy and George Dembroski
  • Enbridge Gas Distribution
  • David and Elyssa Feldberg and Family
  • John and Jocelyn Barford Family Foundation at Toronto Foundation
  • Jon and Nancy Love Foundation at Toronto Foundation
  • The MacMillan Family Foundation
  • Michael Kelly and Marisa Mills
  • Myron Pestaluky and Kelly Pronyk
  • Precision Nutrition
  • Pulse Canada
  • Elana Rosenfeld
  • Steelworkers Humanity Fund
  • TD Securities Underwriting Hope Fund
  • Toronto Life*
  • T.R. Meighen Family Foundation
  • The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
  • W.P. Scott Charitable Foundation

  • $10,000 to $19,999
  • Stephen Brown and Brenda Woods
  • The Caring Foundation
  • David Ceolin and Victoria Birkett
  • Don Cranston and Megan Hill
  • Erica and James Curtis
  • The Geoffrey H. Wood Foundation
  • The New Farm

  • $5,000 to $9,999
  • Alive Publishing Group
  • John Budreski
  • Susan and Robert Busby
  • CORE Architects
  • DLA Piper (Canada) LLP
  • EC Consulting Inc.
  • Nancy and Richard Hamm
  • Higgins Cohn Investments
  • Keith, Tanja and Kiera Thomson Fund at Toronto Foundation
  • King Cole Ducks Ltd.
  • Left Coast Naturals
  • MadeGood Foods
  • Jo-Ann Minden
  • Neal Brothers Inc.
  • Pitblado Family Foundation
  • Jodi Pudge
  • Erica Shuttleworth and Michael Rothfield
  • The Stonemill Bakehouse
  • Taylor Irwin Family Fund at Toronto Foundation
  • Tides Canada Foundation -
  • Valerie Elia Fund
  • The Veggie Puck,
  • Make My Day Foods Inc.
  • The WhiteWave Foods Company
  • and two anonymous donors

  • $1,000 to $4,999
  • Rob Badun and Eileen Gillese
  • Catherine Bateman
  • Bordner Ladner Gervais Foundation
  • Steven E. Cohen
  • Janet and Douglas Davis
  • Doug Ewart and Judith Keene
  • Valerie Fleck
  • Fluid Creative
  • Anne and Ron Foerster
  • GreenSpace Brands
  • Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd.
  • Chris and Sarah Hillyer
  • InvestEco Capital Corp.
  • Brett Jubinville
  • David Kirkwood and
  • Sarah Crawford
  • Janice Lewis and Mitchell Cohen
  • Robin MacAulay and Charles Gane
  • Laura MacFeeters
  • Craig Miller and Susan Meech
  • Jane and Roger Mortimer
  • PwC Canada
  • Mark and Karuna Satov
  • Bill and Linda Saul
  • John and Pat Saul
  • Andrea Savage
  • Steve and Sally Stavro
  • Family Foundation
  • Torys LLP
  • Susan Vardon and Kevin White
  • Libby Wildman
  • The WB Family Foundation
  • Yorkshire Valley Farms
  • and five anonymous donors

  • Restaurants for Change - RESTAURANTS
  • $10,000 to $19,999
  • Richmond Station

  • $5,000 to $9,999
  • Earth to Table Bread Bar
  • Garde Manger
  • River Cafe
  • Ruby Watchco

  • $1,000 to $4,999
  • Actinolite
  • Alo
  • Artisanale French Country Cooking
  • Atelier Restaurant
  • Backhouse
  • Bar Begonia
  • Beast
  • Ben Kramer Custom Catering
  • The Berlin
  • Bonterra
  • Cafe Belong
  • The Canteen
  • Charcut Roast House
  • Le Chien Noir
  • Chives Canadian Bistro
  • Cibo Bistro
  • The Common
  • Deane House
  • Deer + Almond
  • Drake Devonshire Inn
  • The Drake Hotel
  • Drake One Fifty
  • Edulis Restaurant
  • En Vie
  • The Farmer’s Apprentice
  • Fat Pasha
  • Fieldhouse
  • Lavanderia
  • Le Bremner
  • The Mitchell Block
  • Model Milk
  • The Nash
  • NOtaBLE The Restaurant
  • O’Reilly’s Pub
  • Papa Leo
  • Park
  • Pazzo Taverna + Pizzeria
  • Pigeonhole
  • Posto Pizzeria and Bar
  • Rose and Sons
  • Scopa
  • Segovia Tapas Bar
  • Union

  • In-Kind Support
  • $50,000 to $99,999
  • Bordner Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Corus Entertainment
  • The Siren Group

  • $10,000 to $19,999
  • Higgins Event Rentals

  • $5,000 to $9,999
  • Garland
  • J Sutton Communications

  • $1,000 to $4,999
  • Blackbird Baking Co.
  • Core Event Staffing

*Indicates both financial and in-kind donation

Thank You To Our Board Of Directors

  • Sandy Houston, Chair
    President and CEO,
    George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation

  • Gillian Smith, Vice-President
    VP, Membership,
    Toronto Region Board of Trade

  • Brian Lawson, Treasurer
    Senior Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer,
    Brookfield Asset Management
  • Sandra Clarkson, Director
    President, MSH Strategies Inc.

  • Michael MacMillan, Director
    CEO, Blue Ant Media

  • Bill Saul, Director
    Past President and CEO,
    Kids Help Phone

2016 Revenues and Expenses

Sources of