A Visit to Second Harvest

A Visit to Second HarvestI took the kids to Second Harvest today at 1450 Lodestar Road. I wanted the kids to appreciate the logistics involved when working with grocery retailers, food manufacturers, food distributors, the Ontario Food Terminal, St. Lawrence Market, event planners, hotels and restaurants to prevent good food from going to waste.

It's amazing what they do with limited space and resources. They run 8 trucks every day of the week ensuring the primarily perishable food is delivered to a network of more than 215 social service agencies across the city. They are food banks, meal programs, children’s breakfast programs, community centers, drop-in centers, summer camps, women’s shelters, homeless shelters and centers for addiction and mental health treatment.

The food Second Harvest rescues is perfectly good food that has been donated because it is close to expiry and likely won’t sell, overstock, mislabeled, discontinued, discounted or has damaged packaging. If you're a potential food donor, please go here.


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A big thanks for Second Harvest for opening their doors to me and my kids and for the great tour. Support Second Harvest by running a Lunch Money Days fundraiser. Click here to find out how.

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Comments (8 - click here to join in!)


Great job for bringing awareness about food banks. The Scott Mission in downtown Toronto also does some great work for the homeless.

March 12, 2013 @ 4:01 PM

Freddie P.

I hear Rob Ford broke in there once and ate everything. He even tried to eat one of the trucks but later denied it.

March 12, 2013 @ 6:07 PM


@Mike. Good job. It'd be nice if there was a way to get more resources to Second Harvest. It's always such a shame being in a grocery store near closing. There's employees walking around with huge bags, literally just throwing away perfectly good food. Especially in the bakery sections-- whole loaves of bread, buns, etc.

My wife worked in a grocery store in high school. She said the amount of waste behind the scenes is deplorable. For a while, the store said they donated to Second Harvest, but it was a lie. Straight to the bin. Part of the problem is that the store manager insisted that EVERYTHING be perfectly stocked full up, because he believed customers didn't like seeing non-full shelves. This meant that there ALWAYS had to be a full rack of chickens in the roaster, for example.

Of course it was way more food than they could ever sell, and at the end of the day-- all into the garbage. Roasted chickens, buckets of potatoes, etc.

Hopefully some stores are better. Of course, this was the same manager who insisted that all the employees were preparing more food than needed, and he was watching, and if anyone so much as took a single french fry, he would have them arrested for theft and marched out in handcuffs. That's putting aside the fact that it was impossible to make more than needed, since all the machines were calibrated to accept a very specific amount of chicken/potatoes/etc-- no more, no less.

March 13, 2013 @ 10:12 AM


Well intentioned Mike, and I'm sure the kids will benefit, but I'd be lying if the first thing that came to mind was that this sounds like a Flanders family outing (minus the God stuff). You need to grow a cookie-duster and wear more sweaters. ;)

March 13, 2013 @ 11:05 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Hidely-ho, neighborino!

March 13, 2013 @ 11:06 AM

Dave Williams

Great program Mike, I had no idea it existed.

March 13, 2013 @ 12:44 PM

GTA Pearson

Second Harvest is the best food storage company in Ontario state of Canada. Like they protect the food same Toronto Airport Taxi protect their passenger while traveling with them.

March 13, 2013 @ 4:37 PM


Boon, you're a good Dad :).

March 14, 2013 @ 11:35 AM

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