Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s how it works using milk as an example.

Fresh milk is a much needed item at the food banks.

To purchase 8,300 litres of milk it would cost approximately $8,300.00 every month plus the cost to ship and receive this needed product from the source to the local food banks. Our Food Recovery operation spent time and funds establishing partnerships instead of purchases. Now each month The Dairy Farmers of Ontario, The Dairy Transportation Association and Dairy Processors work together to donate 8,300 litres of milk to Hamilton Food Share. In turn Hamilton Food Share distributes milk to emergency food programs throughout the city. Funds used to open this gateway continue to produce donated supplies on an ongoing basis. On average throughout the year, for every dollar we expend on transportation, storage and distribution we can raise $5 worth of food. Each month we spend approximately $650.00 to receive, store and distribute this donation.

Donations from our local community partners such as corporations, individuals, groups and organizations fund 69% of our food recovery operation. Sources of the balance of our funding (31%) come from additional fundraising through member agencies, community events and foundations. As a registered charity all financial contributions are tax deductible. Hamilton Food Share is not a United Way Agency.

Most of the food donated to Hamilton Food Share (83%) is surplus or unusable to the food industry’s needs but is deemed “healthy and edible.” Our Food Recovery Program saves food companies’ expensive storage costs and dumping fees by redirecting it to emergency food programs. Once a company has given to our program, most often, food is donated on an ongoing basis instead of being destroyed.

83% comes from the food industry, such as food manufactures, retailers and farmers.

17% comes from our local community food drives and food purchases.

All food collected goes to assist emergency food programs (food banks and hot meal lines) in our own community including: Native Women’s Centre, the Good Shepherd Centres, Mission Services of Hamilton, Neighbour to Neighbour, St. Matthew’s House, Wesley Urban Ministries, Living Rock, Welcome Inn, Stoney Creek Food Bank and the Salvation Army.

Most agencies allow people to come once a month for 3 days worth of emergency food groceries. With cut backs to social service and disability benefits people are struggling to feed their families for longer periods beyond the three days.

In our community currently there are 12,619 people accessing food banks every month and 4,635 are children (38%). Others that use emergency food services include disabled people, senior citizens, and many people who have lost their jobs and found other employment at minimum wage.

Local manufacturing plants closing and increased utility bills are adding more pressure on families who struggle each month with “paying the rent or feeding the kids.” These are our neighbours, relatives and friends who have reached a point where they have little choice but to turn to an emergency food program for help.