Building Capacity:

What is Capacity?

Keeping pace with the growing need for the services of food banks strains resources. Strengthening the food banking network’s ability to provide more food and specifically fresh food to Canadians in need is an important focus. Food Banks Canada is supporting the food bank network across Canada by investing in vital infrastructure needed to recover and distribute good, safe surplus food to Canadian families in need.

Our retail capacity grants are supporting food banks across Canada to help local organizations purchase equipment to expand cold chain capability to make fresh and perishable foods more accessible.

Thank you Walmart Foundation!

Walmart Foundation is demonstrating a multi-year, multi-million dollar commitment to strengthening the food banking network in Canada. These grants are supported by the Walmart Foundation to support capacity building efforts for food banks to acquire and share more food and specifically fresh food to Canadians in need.

Walmart Foundation

Grants in Action

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Used cube van

Airdrie Food Bank, Airdrie AB

The Airdrie Food Bank recently expanded their operations majorly by building a new facility.

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Used cube van

Airdrie Food Bank, Airdrie AB

The Airdrie Food Bank recently expanded their operations majorly by building a new facility. This has increased their capacity to provide more support to their community. Airdrie Food Bank is purchasing a used one-ton truck that will allow them to pick up more food and enable them to be more efficient when unloading food at the food bank.

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Fork lift

Daily Bread Food Bank,
Toronto ON

"Daily Bread Food Bank has been able to purchase a brand-new forklift to replace our old forklift..."

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Fork lift

Daily Bread Food Bank, Toronto ON

"Daily Bread Food Bank has been able to purchase a brand-new forklift to replace our old forklift, which was beyond repair. This incredible gift means our warehouse team can continue to go strong, moving the tens of thousands of pounds of food needed daily to help feed some of the most vulnerable people in the city of Toronto! Thank you, Walmart!"

Laurie Snyder, Director of Operations
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Truck

Feed Nova Scotia, NS

Feed Nova Scotia collects and distributes food for 146 agencies across the province.

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Truck

Feed Nova Scotia, NS

Feed Nova Scotia collects and distributes food for 146 agencies across the province. This means their trucks are on the road 5 days a week, covering 350,000 km every year to help Nova Scotians living with food insecurity. The organization will invest in a 16-foot refrigerated truck to increase their capacity to recover more food from more locations.

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Retrofit refrigerated truck and staffing

Food Depot Alimentaire,
Moncton NB

"This grant has allowed us to get our truck retrofitted ultimately breaking the barrier to accessing fresh and frozen foods..."

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Retrofit refrigerated truck and staffing

Food Depot Alimentaire, Moncton NB

"This grant has allowed us to get our truck retrofitted ultimately breaking the barrier to accessing fresh and frozen foods from local grocery stores. Thanks to the Walmart Foundation, we are able to continue our work on our growing our Greater Moncton Food Recovery Program, and at the same time offer more fresh foods and frozen meat to our food banks and food programs."

Chantal Senecal, Executive Director of Food Depot Alimentaire
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Used van

Guelph Food Bank, Guelph ON

The Guelph Food Bank distributed over one million lbs. of food last year, supporting over 26,000 families.

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Used van

Guelph Food Bank, Guelph ON

The Guelph Food Bank distributed over one million lbs. of food last year, supporting over 26,000 families. Their critical need was replacing aging vans to ensure they could continue to pick up surplus good food from local retailers. Having reliable transportation gives the food bank the ability to expand their services to more agencies and more people in need.

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Loading dock upgrade

Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge, Lethbridge AB

The building we purchased in 2010 is equipped with a loading dock, however, we have been unable to use it as the dock accessories were removed prior to our facility purchase.

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Loading dock upgrade

Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge, Lethbridge AB

The upgrade of our loading dock will greatly impact our ability to accept and distribute product through the National Food Sharing System and the retail partnerships established by Food Banks Canada. Without this type of funding, it is highly unlikely we could ever afford this much - needed improvement to our warehouse.

͟Danielle McIntyre, Executive Director, Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge

The building we purchased in 2010 is equipped with a loading dock, however, we have been unable to use it as the dock accessories were removed prior to our facility purchase. Thanks to the Walmart Foundation and the 2016 Retail Capacity Grant, we will improve our capacity by refurbishing our dock: acquiring and installing a dock leveler; drape seals; and dock bumpers. An improved dock facility will allow us to accept more food from the regional and national food sharing systems and retail programs, and will assist in providing larger quantities of food to our clients, area food banks and agency support programs. Increasing our capacity by improving our dock facilities will also contribute to our role in a pilot project we have recently begun with Alberta Food Banks: establishing a Southern Alberta Food Hub that would further our ability to assist not only our own clientele, but to support our provincial network of food banks by adding much needed storage space for items donated through retail programs.

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Walk-in freezer, pallet jack, tables and loading dock renovation

Loaves & Fishes Community Food Bank, Nanaimo BC

The loading bay improvements, pallet jack and tables have greatly improved our efficiency, allowing us to get more food into the community.

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Walk-in freezer, pallet jack, tables and loading dock renovation

Loaves & Fishes Community Food Bank, Nanaimo BC

“The loading bay improvements, pallet jack and tables have greatly improved our efficiency, allowing us to get more food into the community. We are confident the walk-in freezer that is being installed will further increase the volume and quality of food available to people in need."

Peter Sinclair, Executive Director, Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank
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New cold room

Moisson Estrie, Sherbrooke QC

We now have a large cold storage facility better suited to our needs.

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New cold room

Moisson Estrie, Sherbrooke QC

We now have a large cold storage facility better suited to our needs. We can now welcome volunteer partners from the grocery industry who bring us food that would otherwise end up at the dump. All of the members of the Moisson Estrie team can begin their days with smiles on their faces knowing with certainty that they can accept all loads of perishable goods without worrying about space, which makes a huge difference in the lives of people in need.

Grants in Action

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Fork lift

Moisson Quebec, Quebec City, QC

The purchase of this new machine and its installation in the sink have made a big difference.

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Fork lift

Moisson Estrie, Quebec QC

The purchase of this new equipment and its installation in the sink have made a big difference. It is faster and more efficient. It ensures better hygiene with very hot water and a period of drying that doesn't entail multiple handlings. It is also physically easier for workers to use. The lift enables food pallets to be transported without compromising the physical health of our workers. It is efficient and fast, and enables goods to be transported from one storage space to another.

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Refrigerated van

Mustard Seed Food Bank,
Victoria BC

The Mustard Seed is in expansion mode this year with the lease of an additional facility as well as refrigerated vehicles to add much needed capacity...

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Refrigerated van

Mustard Seed Food Bank, Victoria BC

“The Mustard Seed is in expansion mode this year with the lease of an additional facility as well as refrigerated vehicles to add much needed capacity in our community to process perishable and non-perishable food donations more effectively and efficiently. The added support of so many agencies is affirmation that we are moving in the right direction."

Allan Lingwood, Director of Development - The Mustard Seed
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New non-refrigerated truck

North York Harvest Food Bank, Toronto ON

"We will be able to add a truck to our existing fleet and allow us to dedicate our refrigerated capacity to picking up more fresh and perishable products..."

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New non-refrigerated truck

North York Harvest Food Bank, Toronto ON

"With this grant we will be able to add a truck to our existing fleet and allow us to dedicate our refrigerated capacity to picking up more fresh and perishable products from grocery and other retailers, while building new capacity to pick up non-perishables products from community events and food drives."

Ryan Noble, Executive Director, North York Harvest
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Walk-in cooler expansion

Regina and District Food Bank, Regina SK

Over the past four years, the Regina Food Bank has been able to double the quantity of perishable foods to include in each food hamper.

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Walk-in cooler expansion

Regina and District Food Bank, Regina SK

Over the past four years, the Regina Food Bank has been able to double the quantity of perishable foods to include in each food hamper. Their cooler is now at capacity, yet the need in the community is still high. Increasing the food bank's cooler space ensures that the organization can accept more fresh items like fruits and vegetables, dairy products and meats and proteins and continue to distribute healthy hampers.

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Van and staffing

Sudbury Food Bank, Sudbury ON

This grant will make a tremendous difference in the quality and quantity of food we deliver...

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Van and staffing

Sudbury Food Bank, Sudbury ON

"This grant will make a tremendous difference in the quality and quantity of food we deliver to our member agencies"

Dan Xilon, Executive Director - Sudbury Food Bank
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Round trip food bins and staffing

The Mississauga Food Bank, Mississauga ON

"We are so appreciative of the Walmart Foundation building our capacity to collect surplus food."

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Round trip food bins and staffing

The Mississauga Food Bank, Mississauga ON

"We are so appreciative of the Walmart Foundation building our capacity to collect surplus food. By being able to fund staff time, as well the purchase of food totes, we are able to build relationships with the stores and make collecting donations easier for retail store staff. We are seeing an increase in donations!"

Meghan Nicholls, Director of Marketing and Development, The Mississauga Food Bank
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Staffing

Whitehorse Food Bank Society, Whitehorse YT

"We were forced to dramatically increase our food purchases during the months of January and February to keep up with demand."

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Staffing

Whitehorse Food Bank Society, Whitehorse YT

“We were forced to dramatically increase our food purchases during the months of January and February to keep up with demand. The retail capacity grant, which we received to help supplement staffing costs, ensured that our food bank was appropriately staffed during this financially difficult time for us. The grant helped ensure that we could continue picking up food from retailers and other organizations on a daily basis and continuing operating effectively. We really appreciate all the help. It makes a huge difference for us. Thank you.”

Tristan Newsome, Executive Director, Whitehorse Food Bank
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Purchase and installation of a new walk-in freezer, temporary staffing support

Abbotsford Community Services Food Bank, Abbotsford BC

The Retail Capacity Grant has meant a huge improvement for our Food Bank.

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Purchase and installation of a new walk-in freezer, temporary staffing support

Abbotsford Community Services Food Bank, Abbotsford BC

The Retail Capacity Grant has meant a huge improvement for our Food Bank. Not only have we improved the quality of our coolers and freezer, we have doubled our capacity to obtain and store product. Further, we have decreased the amount of handling we have from our trucks to the food bank building because the freezer is now closer to the trucks for unloading. We particularly noted the gains from this project during the Christmas season. We could receive and store triple our meat donations compared to previous years. This is significant in that we could say yes to significant donations and ultimately save the food Bank money because we had the capacity to receive large quantities of turkeys and more.

Dave Murray, Food Bank Manager, Abbotsford Community Services Food Bank