1450 Lodestar Road, Unit 18
Toronto, ON M3J 3C1
CEO: Lori Nikkel
Board Chair: Bernie Allion

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) 90 cents are available for programs.

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About Second Harvest:

Founded in 1985, Second Harvest rescues fresh food and delivers it to people in Toronto. According to Second Harvest, six million Canadians reported being hungry amid the covid-19 pandemic. The charity also reports that 1.4 million children are living in food-insecure households. Yet, Canadian households throw away $1,766 worth of food on average each year. Furthermore, 11.2 million metric tons of unsold excess food goes to landfill across the food industry in Canada each year. Second Harvest currently recovers food from 2,555 food donors and distributes it to 2,337 non-profit organizations that feed people in Toronto.

In F2020, through its Food Rescue & Delivery program, Second Harvest gave out 22.3 million lb of food. The food was 43% produce, 14% dairy & dairy alternatives, 10% meat & protein, 8% beverages, 7% snacks/baked good, 5% bread/grain, 5% prepared foods, and 5% condiments. 79% of the food was perishable. The program runs seven days a week and supports over 4,336 agency programs across Canada. The food distributed by Second Harvest supported 1.3 million people in F2020.

Feeding Our Future is an annual 8-week summer program where Second Harvest serves free meal kits to kids attending summer camps. In F2020, the charity packed 72,500 lb of food into 12,385 kits and distributed it to 1,600 families including 2,000 children.

Harvest Kitchens is a training program for adults and youth who want to work in the food preparation industry. Program participants work under the supervision of food service professionals. The food they prepare is then delivered to Second Harvest’s food agency partners.

After piloting in four Ontario communities in F2019, Second Harvest launched FoodRescue.ca, an online food donation platform. It launched Ontario-wide in October 2018 and later expanded to lower mainland British Columbia in June 2019. In F2020, the platform grew from 1,642 registered donors to 2,555, the number of registered non-profit organizations grew from 1,266 to 2,337. In F2020, Second Harvest partnered with the Sprott Foundation and used FoodRescue.ca to distribute grocery gift cards to non-profits across Canada. It distributed $6.3m in Loblaws grocery cards to non-profits and $3.6m in grocery vouchers to 120 Northern communities.



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Results and Impact

Second Harvest reports that it averted 75 million lb of greenhouse gases in F2020. Also, Second Harvest reports that 15.3 billion liters of water were not wasted because of its work. In F2020, Second Harvest rescued 22.3 million lb of food.

In F2019, Second Harvest published the Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste report on the magnitude of food loss and waste in Canada. The report earned a story in 737 media outlets across Canada, including the front page of the Globe and Mail.

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

Charity Intelligence gave Second Harvest an impact rating of Good for proven impact per dollar.

Impact Rating: Good

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In F2020 Second Harvest received donations and special events revenue of $21.6m and donated food worth $64.5m. Second Harvest received government funding of $21.2m for the Feed the Need Program and Surplus Food Rescue Program. Of that amount, the charity used $10.4m and deferred $10.8m.

Administrative costs are 2% of revenues. Fundraising costs are 8% of donations and special event revenue. This results in overhead costs of 10%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 90 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Excluding the cost of donated food and donated volunteer services, funding reserves of $24.8m can cover just over one year of program costs.

Charity Intelligence has sent this update to Second Harvest for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 8, 2021, by Shira Wine.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 1.9%1.6%2.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 8.4%10.9%15.2%
Total overhead spending 10.2%12.5%17.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 105.6%115.5%94.9%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 20,86715,2858,649
Goods in kind 64,53949,17936,214
Government funding 10,36900
Business activities (net) 340190
Special events 7101,5181,444
Investment income 32812947
Total revenues 97,15266,12946,354
Program costs 15,4915,0854,731
Grants 7,96200
Donated goods exp 64,53949,17936,214
Administrative costs 1,8161,066951
Fundraising costs 1,8031,8231,529
Total spending 91,61157,15443,425
Cash flow from operations 5,5418,9762,929
Capital spending 1,2147,696571
Funding reserves 24,7635,8764,491

Note: Note: Ci adjusted for non-government deferred contributions, increasing total revenues by $1.7m in F2020, $8.3m in F2019, and $2.1m in F2018.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 64

Avg. compensation: $66,531

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 F2020

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

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


Comments provided by Second Harvest October 16, 2020

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