Food for Life Canada

2258 Mountainside Drive
Burlington, ON L7P 1B7
Executive Director: Graham Hill
Board Chair: Catherine Potechin

Charitable Reg. #: 89094 3772 RR0001
Sector: Social Services - Food Bank (Distributor)
Operating Charity

Charity Rating

[Charity Rating: 4/4]

Results Reporting

Grade: A-

The grade is based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity's website [Audited financial statement for most recent year]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to the Cause

2015 2016 2017
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Impact Rating: Good

Full-time staff #9

Avg. Compensation $56,553

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 0
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 0
$120k - $160k 0
$80k - $120k 1
$40k - $80k 4
< $40k 4
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2017

About Food for Life Canada:

Founded in 1995, Food for Life Canada (FFL) is a food bank that focuses on redistributing fresh and nutritious foods to local agencies and residents. FFL collects extra perishable food from grocery stores and restaurants through its ReFresh Foods program. It aims to source three primary categories of food: produce, meat, and dairy, which tend to be the most expensive to purchase. FFL notes that 1 in 10 people in Halton experience hunger. In F2017, the charity provided food to 46 partner agencies and 38 Food for Life programs in Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Milton, Georgetown and Acton.

A Charity Intelligence 2018 Top 10 Canadian Impact Charity

In F2017, Food for Life received and distributed $7.8m worth of donated food. It reports that it gave out 3.3 million pounds of food in F2017, 0.8 million pounds more than it distributed in F2016. FFL notes that 80% of the food that was distributed was perishable. The charity states that its community agencies and Food for Life programs received an average of 41,656 visits per month, up 9% compared to F2016. 39% of the clients the food bank served in F2017 were children and 20% were seniors.

Food for Life directly operated 38 local programs such as pop-up food banks and distribution onsite at churches and community centers. The charity is mostly volunteer-driven with 45,313 volunteer hours logged in F2017 while only employing 9 full-time staff.  

After serving 3.5 years as Manager of Annual Campaigns and Strategic Initiatives of Food Banks Canada, Graham Hill was named the new Executive Director of Food for Life Canada in February 2018.

Results and Impact: Food for Life Canada reports that for every $1 donated to the charity, it can create $15.40 worth of food, which is equivalent to about 3.5 meals. It states that by diverting food from landfills and reducing greenhouse gases, Food for Life’s environmental impact is equivalent to taking 250 cars off the road for one year. Since 1995, FFL has diverted over 10 million pounds of healthy food from landfills. The charity also reports that 80% of FFL-run program attendees said it contributed to their overall health and well being. 75% of program attendees said it gave them an increased sense of belonging in their community. Charity Intelligence gave Food for Life an impact rating of Good for proven impact per dollar (see impact grid on the bottom right).

Financial Review:

Food for Life Canada is a Large charity which received monetary donations of $671k and donated food worth $7.8m in F2017, a combined 57% increase compared to F2016. Reconciling the charity’s T3010 filings with its audited financial statements, Ci calculated administrative costs are 1% of total revenues and fundraising costs are 8% of donations. For every dollar donated to the charity, $0.91 goes towards its programs, which falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Food for Life has total funding reserves of $621k. Excluding the cost of donated food, the food bank’s funding reserves can cover annual program costs for 11 months, indicating a need for donations.

This report is an update and that has been sent to Food for Life Canada for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated August 21, 2018 by Derek Houlberg.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending September
Administrative costs as % of revenues 1.2%0.9%1.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 8.0%11.9%9.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 92.9%81.0%63.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 671567446
Goods in kind 7,8275,8165,407
Government funding 163138136
Other income 11910
Total revenues 8,6716,5295,998
Program costs 640563488
Grants 7,8565,8445,407
Administrative costs 1085680
Fundraising costs 546841
Cash flow from operations 14(1)(17)
Funding reserves 621478308
Note: Ci has excluded amortization of deferred capital contributions, decreasing total revenues by $69k in F2017, $68k in F2016 and $48k in F2015. Ci removed gains on disposal of vehicles, decreasing total revenues by $15k in F2015. Ci obtained program (net of donated food), administrative and fundraising costs from the charity's T3010 filing with the CRA. Ci removed amortization from program, administrative and fundraising costs on a pro-rated basis.

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