YSM Food Bank Toronto: services for you and your family

In keeping with our goal to remove barriers faced by neighbours and families in need, we offer a bi-monthly access to our Food Bank for Toronto downtown East neighbours in need to receive fresh and non-perishable groceries as needed. We also take great pride in allowing our community members to access items based on their dietary needs and be assisted in their Food Bank experience. YSM’sToronto Food Bank services are located at our YSM Davis Centre at 270 Gerrard St. E.

The Food Bank offers grocery pick up by appointment only every 2 weeks.

Days of Operation: Tuesday – Friday; 10:00am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Nutritious bags of groceries are available by family size, once every 2 weeks by appointment. Please call 416-929-9324 x 3200 to book an appointment.

Staff and volunteers are available to assist with hygiene supplies, baby and items (if available).

How does the YSM Food Bank work?

YSM provides 3 to 5 days’ worth of staples such as fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs, bread, meat, and non-perishables based on the needs, diet, and preferences of you and your family. We provide a grocery store style shopping experience with volunteers to guide and help you.

YSM Food Bank Hours of Operation:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

The YSM Food Bank is located at: 270 Gerrard St. E., west of Parliament in Regent Park.

How to book an appointment to use YSM’s Food Bank

All Food Bank visits are by appointment only, which means you will shop at your appointment time, without waiting, and the Food Bank will be stocked and ready.

Follow these steps on how to get food from YSM’s Food Bank in Toronto:

  1. To make an appointment, please call 416-929-9324 x 3200 or talk to reception at the Davis Centre, 270 Gerrard St. E.
  2. You will be able to access the Food Bank during your initial registration appointment at 270 Gerrard St. E.
  3. When you arrive for your first appointment, please bring the following to registration:
    1. Photo ID for you and anyone with whom you live and whom  you want to include on your profile
    2. Proof of address

If you have an emergency, give us a call and ask for food box availability.

Our food bank provides 3 to 5 days’ worth of staples such at fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs, bread, meat and non-perishables based on the needs, diet and preferences of you and your family. We provide a grocery store style shopping experience with volunteers to guide and help you.

YSM Food Bank catchment area & qualification

To qualify for YSM’s Food Bank you must live within our catchment area which is south of Bloor St., east of Yonge St. and west of Don Valley Parkway.

YSM Food Bank catchment area map

What to expect during your first visit to the Food Bank

On your first visit, please bring the following items:

  • Your appointment slip
  • Government issued ID for yourself and any other individuals in your household you would like to include on your profile
  • Proof of address
  • Documentation of your most recent monthly income
  • Grocery bags and/or carts

You will be able to access the Food Bank during your registration appointment and will be given appointment times that fit your schedule every two weeks.

During your appointments you will be guided through the Food Bank by volunteers who can help you select items based on the diet and preferences of you and your family. We offer a variety of items based on special dietary needs, including items that are halal, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free.

YSM Food Bank volunteers: come help us in Toronto

Volunteering with our Food Bank is a great way to make a positive difference! We are looking for long-term volunteers and occasional short-term volunteers to prepare daily food and essential care packages for community members experiencing food insecurity.

This role is physically active, and we ask that long-term volunteers commit to 1 shift per week for 6 months to 1 year.

For more information on being a Food Bank volunteer in Toronto and to submit your volunteer application, see our Food Bank Support overview. You can also sign up for a VolunteerHub account to see all of YSM’s short-term Toronto Food Bank volunteer opportunities.

Toronto food bank donations: provide help where needed

Our Food Bank sustains over 3,500 community members every year. However, we are constantly challenged with keeping our shelves stocked with food items and other supplies.

We are grateful to receive Toronto food bank donations of unopened food items and baby food and supplies, as well as grocery store gift cards, to help us keep our shelves stocked year round.

Food Bank donation drop offs

YSM is very grateful for all the items our supporters generously provide. If you would like to donate food or supplies, please visit our Toronto Food Bank drop-off location at YSM David Centre, 270 Gerrard St. E. 306 Gerrard St. E. Before your visit, we ask that you call in advance so we can be ready to accept your donation.

If you have a large donation (8 bags or more) that requires pick-up, please contact us at 416-929-9324 x 3200, and we will arrange a convenient pick-up time. Please note: it may take up to 8 business days to arrange a pick-up during busy periods.

These are some of our Food Bank’s most needed items:

Non-perishable food

  • Canned/dried proteins: chickpeas, beans, lentils, etc.
  • Canned fish: sardines, tuna, salmon
  • Canned vegetables: corn, peas, etc.
  • 100% fruit juices
  • Spreads: nut butters, jam, honey
  • Cooking oil: olive, canola, other vegetable oils
  • Rice (including brown rice)
  • Pasta
  • Cereal (preferably low sugar)
  • Oatmeal
  • Beverages: tea, coffee, cocoa powder
  • Dried fruit: cranberries, raisins, etc.
  • Healthy snacks: nuts, trail mix, popcorn, granola bars

Perishable food

  • Fresh fruits & vegetables
  • Milk & non-dairy alternatives
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Meat: poultry, fish, etc.

Toiletries

  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Body wash & soap
  • Body cream
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet paper

To ensure that we serve our community with dignity, the YSM Food Bank cannot accept the following items:

  • Items past their “Best Before” dates
  • Cans that are sharp or have seam dents
  • Any previously opened items
  • Homemade cakes and baked goods (in accordance with Ontario Public Health Standards).

YSM can issue tax receipts for items valued at $200 or greater. To qualify, please provide proof of the value of your donation, such as a sales receipt.

How to donate money to the Food Bank

In addition to food donations, you can also become a Friend of the Food Bank by donating Toronto Food Bank cash donations in the form of grocery store gift cards, which help us keep our shelves stocked throughout the year. Gift cards can be dropped off at 306 Gerrard St. E. from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

YSM issues tax receipts for financial gifts valued at $200 or greater. Gift cards will be receipted at face value.

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