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) 88 cents are available for programs.

My anchor


About Second Harvest:

Founded in 1985, Second Harvest rescues fresh food and delivers it to hungry people in Toronto. Second Harvest reports that four million Canadians struggle to access healthy food, including 1.4 million children. However, Canadian households throw away $1,766 worth of food on average annually, and 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 1,201 food donors and distributes it to 1,080 non-profit organizations that feed people in Toronto.

Through its Food Rescue & Delivery program, Second Harvest gave out 15.6 million lb of food in F2019, which is a 27% increase from 12.3 million lb in F2018. The food was 29% produce, 24% dairy & dairy alternatives, 14% beverages, 12% meat & protein, 8% snacks/baked good, 5% bread/grain, 4% prepared foods, and 4% condiments. 93% of the food was perishable. The program runs seven days a week and supports over 1,080 non-profit organizations. The food distributed by Second Harvest served 519,000 people in F2019.   

Feeding Our Future is an annual 8-week summer program where Second Harvest serves free lunches and snacks to kids attending summer camps. In F2018, the charity provided 40,000 lunches to feed 2,400 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 and 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 one year, the platform grew from 55 registered donors to 750, the number of registered non-profit organizations grew from 52 to 696, and the amount of food rescued grew from 33,000 lb to 627,000 lb.


My anchor

Results and Impact

Second Harvest reports that 64 million lb of greenhouse gases were averted in F2019 because of its work. In addition, Second Harvest reports that 13.4 billion litres of water were not wasted because of its work.  

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 Second Harvest’s results and impact.

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

Impact Rating: Average

My anchor


With total cash donations and special events fundraising of $16.9m and donated food worth $49.2m in F2019, Second Harvest is one of Canada’s 100 largest charities in terms of donations, making it a Major 100 charity. Administrative costs are 2% of revenues and fundraising costs are 11% of donations and special event revenue. This means overhead costs are 12%. For every dollar donated to the charity, 88 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

Excluding the cost of donated food, funding reserves of $5.9m can cover roughly 14 months of program costs. Including the cost of donated food, the charity can cover roughly one month of program costs.

This report is an update and has been sent to Second Harvest for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on July 14, 2020 by Eric Jose.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending August
Administrative costs as % of revenues 1.6%2.1%2.3%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 10.8%16.5%20.1%
Total overhead spending 12.4%18.6%22.4%
Program cost coverage (%) 115.5%94.9%123.5%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 15,3577,8084,984
Goods in kind 49,17936,21426,875
Special events 1,5181,4441,407
Investment income 1474722
Total revenues 66,20245,51233,288
Program costs 5,0864,7312,313
Donated goods exp 49,17936,21426,875
Administrative costs 1,066951753
Fundraising costs 1,8231,5291,287
Total spending 57,15443,42531,228
Cash flow from operations 9,0482,0872,060
Capital spending 7,696571209
Funding reserves 5,8764,4912,856

Note: Ci adjusted for deferred contributions, increasing total revenues by $8.3m in F2019, $1.2m in F2018, and $1.7m in F2017.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 63

Avg. Compensation: $53,161

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 F2019

My anchor

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