CharityIntelligence Canada

Food for Life Canada

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

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

2016 2017 2018
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Impact Rating: Good

Full-time staff #9

Avg. Compensation $51,495

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 6
< $40k 2
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2018

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 in the region of Halton. FFL collects unsold and unused perishable food from grocery stores and restaurants. 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 one in ten people in Halton experience hunger. In F2018, the charity provided food to 98 partner agencies and Food for Life programs in Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Milton, Georgetown and Acton. 

A Charity Intelligence 2018 Top 10 Canadian Impact Charity

In F2018, Food for Life received and distributed $9.4m worth of donated food. FFL reports that it gave out 3.8 million pounds of food in F2018, 0.5 million more than it distributed in F2017. Food for Life states that in F2018 the charity helps 12,721 people every week, including 10,217 family members (adults and children), 1,612 youth, 524 aging adults, and 359 single adults.  

Food for Life directly operated local programs such as pop-up food banks and distribution onsite at churches and community centers. FFL’s 15 youth programs work in collaboration with agencies, including Boys and Girls Clubs and Frontline Outreach, to support youth who have reduced access to healthy food. The charity is mostly volunteer-driven with 49,526 volunteer hours logged in F2018 while only employing 9 full-time staff.    

Results and Impact:

Since 1995, Food for Life Canada has diverted over 10 million pounds of healthy food from landfills. FFL states that by diverting food from landfills and reducing greenhouse gases, the charity’s environmental impact is equivalent to taking 250 cars off the road for one year. 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, receiving monetary donations of $1.1m and donated food worth $9.4m in F2018, a combined 23% increase compared to F2017. Reconciling the charity’s T3010 filings with its audited financial statements, Ci calculated administrative costs are 1% of total revenues and fundraising costs are 6% of donations. For every dollar donated to the charity, 93 cents go towards its programs, which is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.  

Food for Life has total funding reserves of $361k. Excluding the cost of donated food, the food bank’s funding reserves can cover annual program costs for 6 months. 

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

Updated June 10, 2019 by Caroline McKenna. 

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending September
Administrative costs as % of revenues 1.4%1.2%0.9%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 6.0%7.9%11.8%
Program cost coverage (%) 3.6%7.3%7.5%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 1,057679575
Goods in kind 9,3907,8275,816
Government funding 162163138
Other income 7119
Total revenues 10,6158,6796,538
Program costs 702640563
Grants 9,4127,8565,844
Administrative costs 14310856
Fundraising costs 635468
Cash flow from operations 295227
Funding reserves 361621478
Note: Ci adjusted for deferred contributions related to property and equipment to report on a cash basis, affecting revenues by $216k in F2018, ($69k) in F2017 and ($59k) in F2016. Ci obtained program (net of donated food), administrative and fundraising costs from the charity's T3010 CRA filings and backed out amortization costs on a pro-rata basis.