120 The East Mall
Etobicoke, ON M8Z 5V5
CEO: Lori Nikkel
Board Chair: Jeff Hauswirth

Charitable Reg. #:13386 5477 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

[Charity Rating: 5/5]



Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



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



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 74 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Second Harvest:

Second Harvest is a five-star financially transparent charity with a High demonstrated impact score. It has an A+ results reporting grade, which is excellent. For every dollar donated to the charity, 74 cents are available to go to the cause.

Founded in 1985, Second Harvest rescues and redistributes food to non-profit organizations, individual food bank programs, and directly to communities in need across all Canadian provinces and territories. According to the charity, food banks across Canada expect an 18% demand increase (one million new users) in 2024. 36% of food banks also report having a waitlist of people unable to access their services, with this waitlist expected to increase in 2024. In F2023, Second Harvest rescued food from over 7,500 Canadian donors and distributed it to over 4,400 food banks and 861 communities across Canada. The charity’s main program is its food recovery and distribution network. The charity spent $9.6m cash on this program in the fiscal year ending August 2023 (F2023).

A Charity Intelligence 2023 Top 100 Rated Charity

Food recovery and distribution was the charity’s main program. In F2023, Second Harvest delivered 74.4m lb of food worth $269m to 861 communities and 4,400 food banks. This is an increase compared to 53.3m lb of food distributed to 3,700 food banks in F2022. The charity supported 4.8m unique clients and provided 205,000 meals worth of food in F2023.

The charity reported that 64% of its distributed food was either fruits and vegetables (fresh produce), dairy products, or meat products. Second Harvest reported the following breakdown of distributed food in F2023: fresh produce (42%), dairy (13%), grains (11%), meat (9%), baked foods (9%), prepared foods (8%), juice (5%), condiments (3%), and baby formula (0.2%). The charity also reported food deliveries to each province and territory. The top three are 48% in Ontario, 13% in Alberta, and 10% in Quebec.

My anchor

Results and Impact

In F2023, Second Harvest distributed 74.4m lb of food to 4.8m unique clients, meaning each client received an average of 15.5 lb of food during the year. Boston Consulting Group and the Pecaut Centre for Social Impact completed a social impact analysis of the charity in F2023, calculating a 5:45:1 social return on investment value. This means that every dollar donated to Second Harvest provided $5.45 worth of social, environmental, and economic benefits. The charity also reported averting 241m lb of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.

While Ci highlights these key results, they may not be a complete representation of Second Harvest’s results and impact.

Charity Intelligence has given Second Harvest a High impact rating based on its demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

Impact Rating: High

My anchor


In F2023, Second Harvest received $14.3m in cash and $269m worth of donated food, a 13% and 46% respective increase from F2022. Administrative costs are 1% of revenues and fundraising costs are 25% of cash donations, resulting in 26% total overhead spending. This is within Ci’s reasonable range and means that for every dollar donated, 74 cents are available to go to the cause.

In F2023, the charity spent $9.6m on its programs which is 66% of its revenues excluding donated food and investment income.

At the end of F2023, Second Harvest had $16.6m in reserve funds (cash and investments) which covers 174% or slightly under 21 months of its annual program spending.

Profile updated June 12, 2024 by Julian Dranitsaris. Comments and corrections may be forthcoming.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 0.7%1.1%1.4%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 25.1%28.6%39.5%
Total overhead spending 25.8%29.7%40.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 173.5%42.0%63.2%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 12,76811,0844,101
Goods in kind 268,851184,71497,925
Government funding 032,94310,001
Business activities (net) 0035
Special events 1,4921,5661,242
Investment income 593137230
Other income 2281,2484,568
Total revenues 283,932231,692118,103
Program costs 9,55138,17128,494
Donated goods exp 268,851184,71497,926
Administrative costs 2,0332,5251,679
Fundraising costs 3,5763,6212,108
Total spending 284,010229,031130,206
Cash flow from operations (78)2,661(12,103)
Capital spending 3844,1334,600
Funding reserves 16,57216,03018,011

Note: 1. NON-GOVERNMENT DEFERRED ADJUSTMENT: Second Harvest uses deferred accounting. To show donors this information on a consistent basis, Ci adjusted donations for changes in non-government deferred contributions. This affected revenues by ($238k), ($156k), and ($11.9m) in F2023, F2022, and F2021 respectively. 2. GOVERNMENT DEFERRED ADJUSTMENT: Ci also adjusted revenues by changes in deferred government funding. This affects revenues by ($1.1m), $822k, and ($10.5m) in F2023, F2022, and F2021 respectively. 3. DEFERRED CAPITAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Ci also removed amortization of deferred capital contributions from revenue. This affected revenues by ($1.2m), ($879k), and ($664k) in F2023, F2022, and F2021 respectively. 4. CAPITAL ASSET CONTRIBUTIONS: Ci also added contributions from deferred capital assets. This affected revenues by $228k, $1.2m, and $4.6m in F2023, F2022, and F2021 respectively.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 112

Avg. compensation: $65,057

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2023

My anchor

Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

This comment is from a previous version of the charity's report and it may be updated by the charity.  

Comments provided by Second Harvest October 16, 2020

Feeding Our Future (FOF)

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FOF program pivoted from providing lunches at camp locations to providing kits with proteins, produce and grains plus an activity that were distributed/delivered to families
  • 72,500 pounds of food turned into 12,385 activity kits were distributed June through August
  • 1,600 families and 2,000 children and youth have received activity kits

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment & Second Harvest Partnership: Bringing Toronto Back to Its Feet

  • MLSE and Second Harvest’s partnership, Bringing Toronto Back to Its Feet, was aimed at supporting front-line health care workers and food shelters
  • Every day, 13,000 meals were prepared, allowing us to donate and deliver to food banks and shelters across the GTA
  • Over 320,000 take-away meals were prepared and distributed to our GTA-based network

Harvest Kitchens

  • With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, all Harvest Kitchen partners halted on-site training programs and operations
  • Kitchen partners have not yet been able to resume on-site training
  • They eventually resumed to function as emergency food production kitchens, meeting the community need for prepared, individual take-away meals

Food Rescue.ca Emergency Funding

  • We were given $11,250,000 by AAFC (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) to distribute to organizations across Canada for COVID-19 relief
  • We funded 684 organizations, distributing $10,158,562 across Canada
  • Approximately 623,416 individuals were supported by this funding
  • 25% of funding directed to Indigenous-led groups/organizations

Sprott Grocery Gift Cards

  • Funded 588 organizations
  • $6.3 Million in Loblaw grocery gift cards were distributed across Canada
  • It is estimated that 445,741 individuals were supported by this funding

North West Company

  • 137 communities were funded in 9 provinces and territories, including Indigenous, rural, remote and fly-in communities
  • $3.6 Million in food vouchers and food product were distributed to individuals, food banks and Indigenous communities
  • An estimated 22,092 families were supported by this funding

Surplus Food Rescue Program

  • The Surplus Food Rescue Program is an ongoing program to purchase commodities from farmers and producers and distribute to communities across Canada
  • Approximately 2 Million pounds of food has been delivered to date
  • 40,225 pounds of food has been delivered so far to Northern communities


Learn More: 2023 Impact Report

Charity Contact

Website: www.secondharvest.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 416-408-2594


Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Our website posts free reports on more than 800 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 500,000 Canadians use our website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.6 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.


Be Informed. Give Intelligently. Have Impact


Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001