Food Banks are a vital source of support for Canadian families during normal times. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, Food banks across Canada are being used more frequently, and require an increase in donations. We spoke to the executive director of the Mississauga Food Bank, Meghan Nicholls, to learn more about how we can help!
Describe your charity/non-profit in a few sentences.
The Mississauga Food Bank is the central food bank in Mississauga. Through its network of 45 agencies – including neighbourhood food banks, hot meal programs, and breakfast clubs – we
distribute food for over 2.9 million meals each year.
What problem does it aim to solve?
The Mississauga Food Bank’s goal is to relieve hunger by providing and promoting access to healthy and nutritious food for people in need. Our objective is to provide healthy food from Canada’s Food Guide – fruit and vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy products – to provide a balanced diet to food bank users for 7+ days each month. Thousands of individuals and families across Mississauga rely on us daily.
Now, more than ever our community needs our help. With the current global COVID-19 pandemic, The Mississauga Food Bank is working with various community groups, individuals, and the government to ensure the sustainability of our services as we anticipate the economic impact of this pandemic will be felt for months to come.
The #MississaugaChallenge was launched Wednesday, April 8, 2020 by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Mohamad Fakih, CEO, Paramount Fine Foods. In just over a week, we have raised 69% of our campaign goal of $840,000 to support the urgent needs of The Mississauga Food Bank. Together, we can build a Mississauga where no one goes hungry.
When did you start/join it?
I joined the Mississauga Food Bank in 2009 as the Director of Development and Marketing. I’ve been the Executive Director of the food bank since 2018.
What made you want to get involved?
I grew up in a family that is involved in charitable work so I’ve always been connected to different causes. People being able to meet their basic needs is a matter of justice for me, and I am proud to work for an organization that is making a difference to so many families in my community.
What was the situation like when you started?
When I first started at The Mississauga Food Bank, there was a small but mighty team. The organization has grown tremendously over the last couple of years and we now have over 20 staff members and a dedicated team of over 5,000 volunteers who support our mission.
How has it changed since?
Times have definitely changed over the last while with the COVID-19 crisis. We are seeing a 10% increase in food bank users accessing our services and a decrease in food donations which is resulting in a great need to fundraise to be able to purchase food, supplies, and get food to our hungry neighbours.
What more needs to be done?
The Mississauga Food Bank needs the community’s help more than ever to get through this critical period. It takes all of us to feed our hungry neighbours!
How can our readers help?
As we navigate through this unprecedented time, The Mississauga Food Bank needs the community’s continued support to help us help families across our city. Donations can be made at on our website, by phone at 905-270-5589, or by mail to 3121 Universal Drive, Mississauga, L4X 2E2.
Do you have any events coming up?
We have had to cancel all of our upcoming community events because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?
I support a variety of causes including youth leadership, indigenous and cultural reconciliation, community development in Burundi, and my local church. If I had to pick just one to mention, it
would be Camp Mini-Yo-We.