On October 4, 2018 Metcalf grantee FoodReach launched a new online portal that will allow community agencies access to affordable, fresh, and nutritious food for their clients and also announced its merger into North York Harvest Food Bank, another Metcalf grantee.
Founded in 2015, FoodReach is a community-led food procurement and online distribution system for the non-profit sector. It is focused on serving Toronto’s most vulnerable – children, individuals experiencing homelessness, and low-income people. Currently the FoodReach Network is comprised of 260 organizations serving 300,000 Toronto residents. FoodReach hopes that more groups will join.
“The portal is simple to use and it leverages the power of group purchasing from a network of suppliers,” said Alvin Rebick, spokesperson for FoodReach. “With a great partner in North York Harvest that manages the logistics, community agencies can get timely delivery of quality and affordable food.”
Ryan Noble, Executive Director of North York Harvest Food Bank, concurred. “By leveraging our expertise in food sourcing, warehousing and delivery, North York Harvest helps bring efficiency in our partner agencies as they can now focus on what they do best.”
Users like Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre (PARC) Project Coordinator Anita Prasad believe that FoodReach will have a tremendous positive impact on her program. “We serve approximately 350 meals a day, 365 days a year, with very limited resources.” Ms. Prasad added, “Rather than having staff and volunteers doing the shopping at retail price, FoodReach is able to alleviate that responsibility thus allowing us to focus on what’s most important – delivering our program to our clients.”
Metcalf President and CEO Sandy Houston spoke at the launch. “Metcalf has been involved with FoodReach from the beginning, participating in its strategic development process in addition to being a core funder. We are impressed by the power of community collaboration and innovation and are excited to be a part of the next stage of FoodReach’s growth.”