Day 21
2 lbs of healthy surplus food rescued from being wasted in Canada

No Waste, No Hunger.

Food waste and insecurity in Canada

In Canada, 58% of all food produced is lost or wasted to approximately 35.5 million tonnes each year. Of this lost or wasted food, 32% could be rescued to support communities across the country. Second Harvest has taken action on this issue head on by not only creating an organization that directly works to rescue and deliver this food but to also spread awareness, increase education on food waste prevention and give our communities the tools to reduce their own food waste right from home.


Fresh, healthy food needed for families in Canada


Enabling surplus food donation from across the supply chain

Countable effort

With every GOOD DEED Second Harvest will rescue 2 lbs of healthy food from going into landfill and distribute it to those experiencing food insecurity.


Providing food to 3,000+ agencies to support families in Canada

Systemic effect

Mitigating the effects of climate change globally while supporting food relief programs nationally


Second Harvest's GOOD DEED will focus on the main social and environmental implications of food loss and waste (FLW). FLW creates enormous economic costs to businesses and societies across Canada and has a significant impact on our environment. Globally, according to the United Nations report on global food waste, the average person wastes a total 79 kilograms of food annually. However, this figure only accounts for at-home waste [BBN Bloomberg, 2020]. FLW represents almost 60% of the food industry’s environmental footprint despite much of this waste being entirely avoidable. Food that ends up in landfill creates methane gas which is 25 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide [The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste Roadmap, 2019]. Second Harvest is in the business of food rescue, and after more than three decades working on this problem, we know that there is much more that can be done. The amazing healthy and nutritious food we recover hides in plain sight: it is not waste; it is surplus that can’t be sold at market. In 2020, 5.8 million Canadians reported being hungry and nearly 1/3 of households nationwide who rely on social assistance as income continue to be food insecure. With so much food continuing to be lost or wasted Second Harvest remains more committed than ever to support in getting healthy, surplus food to the people who need it most. [Second Harvest Impact Report, 2020]

The good deed

Second Harvest’s focus is combatting food waste and insecurity, which means we strive to rescue good, healthy food from going into landfill and divert it to individuals who struggle having reliable access to affordable and nutrient dense food. We actively deliver food to a variety of non-profit organizations that provide food to communities across Canada with a focus on fresh, perishable foods that are at risk of being disposed of into landfills due to overproduction from farmers, manufactures and retailers alike. Our goal between 2022-2024 is to continue to expand our food delivery services across Canada and provide even more non-profit organizations with food for their communities. By diverting surplus food from landfills, we are projecting to prevent the emission of at least 63 million pounds (29M kg) of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

About Canada

One in four children and one in five adults live in poverty in Toronto.

Population Canada
38.01 million (2020)

The poverty rate in 2018 was 11% based on Canada's Official Poverty Line.

3.98 million Canadians or 1 in 9 people in Canada lived 2018 in poverty.

Did you know that there are four times more food charities in Canada than there are grocery stores?