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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Food Bank?

A Food Bank is a place where those in our community can turn to when they find themselves in need of food.  A Food Bank receives food from a variety of sources and re-distributes to individuals/families in need of food assistance and organizations within the community that help others with food assistance.

How does Burlington Food Bank help the hungry?

We help the hungry by sourcing, managing and distributing food to our network of local agencies, including food banks, children’s snack programs, the Carpenter Hospice, Halton Woman's Place and several hot meal programs, including Community Dinners and Lunches. To see a list of the organizations and programs we support check our Programs section.

How many people does Burlington Food Bank feed?

Every month, over 600 people receive food from the Burlington Food Bank. In 2017 we provided food to over 8,500 Burlington residents; 35% of those assisted were children.

Where does Burlington Food Bank get its funding?

We receive donations from individuals, corporations, churches, sports clubs and service groups, foundations and community events that are hosted on our behalf. We rely on the generosity of these individuals and organizations to fund our operations. If you would like to make a donation, please visit our Donate Page. If you would like to run a fundraiser on our behalf please email info@burlingtonfoodbank.ca

Who is eligible to get food from our food bank locations?

Anyone in need living in Burlington is welcome to get assistance from the Burlington Food Bank. Clients will be asked to provide proof that they are residents of Burlington. This includes providing identification with their name and mailing addresses for all adults in the family. If you have children, you will be asked to provide proof of identification (name and birth date) such as a birth certificate, passport etc. You will also be asked for proof of monthly income, (pay slips, Child Tax Credit, etc.), a rent receipt, lease agreement, or mortgage statement in order for us to complete a needs assessment.

How does Burlington Food Bank get its food?

Through our membership with the Ontario Association of Food Banks we receive food from national food retailers and producers, however most of our food comes from the many individuals who donate food to our food bank. We distribute packaged, canned, non-perishable foods and perishable food that meet all Canada Food Safety Standards as well as nutrition standards as per the Canada Food Guide. Our staff and volunteers are trained in Food Handling and Safety. When food arrives, our volunteers sort the food and check for best before dates and dents. Although we are diligent in this process, it is the food bank clients’ ultimate responsibility to check the products prior to consumption. 

What kind of food is provided?

 Clients can visit our food bank one time every 3 weeks. Food provided includes: perishable and non-perishable products such as fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen meat, dairy products, juice, bread, cereal, canned fish, meat, vegetables and fruit, stew, peanut butter, jam, macaroni and cheese, pasta sauce, soup, crackers, rice or noodles, beans, baby formula and baby food. Non-food items (e.g. tooth paste, soap, toilet paper etc.) are also frequently donated and distributed to clients. Our agency provides nutritious snack foods for school lunch and recess programs thru the generosity of the Tim Horton's Burlington Smile Cookie Program.

Hunger in Burlington

in Burlington, 20% of all food banks clients are children

  • Did you know? About 35% of all food bank clients are children.
  • In Burlington almost 17,000 people are living at or below the Low Income Cut-Off.
Hunger in Ontario
  • Ontario has more people using food banks than any other province in Canada (more than double that of Quebec).
  • Statistics provided by the Ontario Association of Food Banks
Hunger Nationwide
  • Hunger is on the rise in Canada. In a typical month, food banks nationwide provide food to 882,000 people (more than 339,000 of these are children).
  • Of these people, 93,000 accessed a food bank for the first time.

Food Banks Canada works with 550 food banks and more than 3000 food programs across Canada. In addition to a range of food-related programs for adults and children, many also offer other forms of support such as skills training, community kitchens and gardens, and helping people search for jobs, housing, or affordable child care.

Close to 40% of food banks are run solely by volunteers, and the remainder rely heavily on volunteer assistance. Many volunteers are current or former food bank recipients.

What We Do At Burlington Food Bank

In 2017, approximately 600 Burlington residents received food from the Burlington Food Bank every month. We receive, inspect for best before dates and damaged/unsafe product, sort, and distribute food as quickly as possible.

While most of our donations are non-perishable food items, Burlington Food Bank also supplies milk, eggs, meat and fresh fruits and vegetables to clients when available. Food is sourced through corporate and individual donations, sponsorship, and through our collaborative membership with the Ontario Association of Food Banks, and Food Banks Canada

Local Food Drive Bulletin

MWRThank you MWR team!!

Back Pack to Basics – Backpack & School Supply Donation Program in support of the Burlington Food Bank From Aug 13-20, the folks at MWR asked the community to join in and put a smile on a child’s face on their first day back to school. Backpacks were filled with essential items to give that child the opportunity to be the best they can be. The program was founded by Ryan & Melissa Zogala of the MWR Realty team. The folks at MWR donated BackPacks to the Food Bank as a back to school gesture for Burlington Food Bank clients

Shown here are Ryan Zogala and Melissa Zogala (MWR | Married with Real Estate Realty Team) and Richard Weima broker (Right at home realty, Burlington).

MarionMarion Duffield's Food Drive

Its amazing people like Marion Duffield that make living in Burlington such a special thing. This is her collection of 827 pounds of food with an estimated value of $2,150. She and her friends also donated $200 in Gift Cards and $150 in cash at their local Food Drive for a total of $2,500 in food and card/cash donations!

We can't thank you enough Marion!

Gift of Giving Back 2018GIFT OF GIVING BACK FOOD DRIVE 2018

Burlington Food Bank board grateful for the support provided by the Gift of Giving Back. L-R Bernie Parent, John Tait, John Lve, Scot Cameron, Jean Longfield, Lesley Fox, Chief Lazenby, Donna Ridge, Mary Gowan, Robin Bailey, Susan Clewer & Jim Kamstra

They announced donations amounting to 601,639 lbs. This new national record for Food donations in Canada was acknowledged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Tim Horton's Smile Cookie Campaign

Members of our Board, Norm Crook & Donna Ridge, were out helping out with Tim Hortons #smilecookies this morning! $1 from all #BurlONcookie sales (until Sept 23) is donated right to the Burlington Food Bank.

Happy snacking!.


Mayor's Community Service Award

The Burlington Food Bank was honoured to be chosen as the recipient of the Mayor's Community Service Award - Not For Profit.

We feel that this is an award that shows how much our volunteers and donors mean to our great city and their willingness to help those in need of food assistance.

We also received acknowledgement of our award from MP Pam Damoff and MPP Jane McKenna which we greatly appreciated!

Thank you Burlington for your continued support and generosity!

What's Happening Now



The Burlington Food Bank was honoured to be chosen as the recipient of the Mayor's Community Service Award - Not For Profit.

We feel that this is an award that shows how much our volunteers and donors mean to our great city and their willingness to help those in need of food assistance.

We also received acknowledgement of our award from MP Pam Damoff and MPP Jane McKenna which we greatly appreciated!