Community food resilience

North York Harvest Food Bank’s (NYHFB) mission includes providing dignified food assistance while working towards long-term food solutions. Since 2018, Groundswell has been supporting them to reimagine food banking that leads to a more just food system and builds community resilience. Starting with the organization itself, we helped build an internal business case towards establishing a purchasing, warehousing and delivery social enterprise that leverages the organization’s core capabilities. Their social enterprise offers other social service organizations reliable and cost-effective access to quality food through collective purchasing and is working towards service delivery partnerships with large-scale institutions. This initiative intervenes into the for-profit food system through an alternative supply chain with social purpose outcomes. 

Groundswell is currently supporting NYHFB to innovate food security solutions through exploring supermarket-style approaches and leveraging public infrastructure, specifically public libraries, to create community food spaces with food bank access with outcomes of building sustainable livelihoods for individuals, households and communities. This work includes supporting NYHFB to document and further develop adaptations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings will inform NYHFB ongoing operations and will be used to recommend community resilience and food justice perspectives to the City of Toronto.

Our final deck is an incredible distillation of a tremendous amount of high-quality work. We've effectively designed a new organization with your guidance. It exceeded even my highest expectations from when we started out. Testament to your skills!

Ryan Noble
Executive Director
North York Harvest Food Bank