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Canada’s Invisible Food Network

Canada’s Invisible Food Network is a Canadian research first and it addresses an urgent question: we need to know who is helping to provide food for the millions of Canadians struggling with food insecurity.  

And the findings are shocking: there are four times more charitable food providers than grocery stores in Canada. This is a massive but unconnected patchwork of services trying to support 6.7 million Canadians while they themselves are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic on the charitable sector.  

Read Canada’s Invisible Food Network

These unprecedented findings are the result of a nearly two-year-long research project undertaken by Second Harvest and Value Chain Management International, a leading public and industry voice in the area of food waste.

“Our research shows that the charitable food system is a huge patchwork of vital but disconnected services. That’s not a sustainable model of a resilient food system, especially for our most vulnerable populations. The research aims to bridge that gap with the data we need to create strategies and solutions. 
Lori Nikkel, CEO, Second Harvest

Facts about the invisible food network

6.7 million

Canadians rely on the food network

61,000

non-profits provide food to Canadians

There are 4x

more food charity programs than grocery stores

$33 billion

in food was provided by charities in 2020

The need will not go away after COVID, and programs like [Second Harvest’s] are needed to continue to create relationships between those with access to excess food to those organizations that can use it to address food insecurity.”
MetroWorks Employment Association, Halifax

In The News

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This project was made possible by a generous grant from the Walmart Foundation.