120 The East Mall
Etobicoke, ON M8Z 5V5
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) 87 cents are available for programs.

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About Second Harvest:

Second Harvest is a 5-star charity with a High impact rating. It is one of Canada’s largest food rescue charities and is financially transparent with a high results reporting grade. 

Founded in 1985, Second Harvest rescues fresh food and delivers it to people in Canada. According to Second Harvest, 5.6 million Canadians are food insecure. The charity also reports that 11.2 million metric tons of unsold excess food goes to landfills across the food industry in Canada each year. Second Harvest currently recovers food from 4,500 food donors and distributes it to 3,000 non-profit and charitable organizations that feed people across Canada.  

In F2021, through its Food Rescue and Delivery program, Second Harvest rescued and redistributed 41 million pounds of food. This is a 48% increase from the 22.3 million pounds of food distributed in F2020. The food was 36% produce, 22% meat & alternatives, 8% dairy & dairy alternatives, 9% baked goods and snacks, 8% bread and grains, 7% water and beverages, 5% prepared foods, and 4% condiments. 83% of food donations were perishable.  

Feeding Our Future is an annual 8-week summer program where Second Harvest serves free meal kits to kids attending summer camps. In F2021, the charity provided 12,995 kits and healthy lunches for 2,500 kids.

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 its Food Rescue app, an online food donation platform that links surplus food with those who need it. In F2021, 5,000 new users joined the platform. The Second Harvest Food Rescue app helps facilitate access to types of food that are uncommon in the emergency space. Second Harvest also provides emergency funding through its Emergency Food Security Fund which provided funding for 1,385 organizations in F2021.  

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Results and Impact

Second Harvest reports that it averted 162m pounds of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere in F2021. Also, Second Harvest reports that 22.5 billion liters of water were not wasted because of its work. In F2021, Second Harvest rescued and redistributed 41m pounds of food.  

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

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

Impact Rating: High

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In F2021, Second Harvest received donations and special events revenue of $17.2m and donated food worth $98.2m. Second Harvest received government funding of $20.5m for the Surplus Food Rescue Program and the Emergency Food Security Program.  

Administrative costs are 1% of revenues (less investment income) and fundraising costs are 12% of donations and special events revenue. This results in overhead costs of 13%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 87 cents go towards the charity’s programs. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.  

Second Harvest has $18.0m in funding reserves and excluding the cost of donated food and donated volunteer services, the reserves can cover just over 6 months of program costs.  

This charity report is an update that was sent to Second Harvest for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.  

Updated on June 22, 2022, by Emma Saganowich.  

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 1.2%1.9%1.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 12.2%8.4%10.9%
Total overhead spending 13.5%10.2%12.5%
Program cost coverage (%) 63.2%105.6%115.5%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 15,99220,86715,285
Goods in kind 98,18664,53949,179
Government funding 20,54410,3690
Business activities (net) 3534019
Special events 1,2427101,518
Investment income 230328129
Total revenues 136,23097,15266,129
Program costs 28,49415,4915,085
Grants 07,9620
Donated goods exp 98,18664,53949,179
Administrative costs 1,6791,8161,066
Fundraising costs 2,1081,8031,823
Total spending 130,46791,61157,154
Cash flow from operations 5,7635,5418,976
Capital spending 4,6001,2147,696
Funding reserves 18,01124,7635,876

Note: Ci adjusted for non-government deferred contributions, increasing total revenues by ($664k) in F2021, $1.7m in F2020, and $8.3m in F2019. 

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 76

Avg. compensation: $57,525

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 F2021

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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

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

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


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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001