Fresh News Fall 2023

This summer brought about significant changes for all of us. The impact of inflation led many families and individuals who had never required food support to turn to our programs for assistance. Additionally, our planet experienced the intensifying effects of climate change, serving as a stark reminder of how closely interconnected our lives are with the health of the Earth.

As we transition into the fall season, a time synonymous with harvest and transformation, we are reminded of the beauty in change itself. At Food for Life, we firmly believe that positive change, whether it involves healing our planet by curbing food waste or assisting our neighbours in breaking free from poverty’s grip, all begins with the power of food.

Serving the needs of more than 4,000 households each week with nourishing, fresh food is a collective effort that relies on the dedication of Food Heroes. This autumn presents numerous wonderful opportunities for you to become involved.

Exciting times lie ahead for Food for Life as we prepare to unveil our new strategic plan in 2024. This plan will build upon our nearly three decades of experience in rescuing food and making a meaningful impact on lives. It will also reinforce our commitment to collaboration and pursuing transformative change.

To gain insight into our innovative approaches to program design and their far-reaching effects and discover how you can contribute this fall, delve into the latest edition of the Fresh News.

We are deeply grateful for the unwavering support of our mission; YOU inspire our team daily.

With Appreciation,

Meaghan Richardson, P. Ag
Interim Executive Director


agreed that receiving fresh food from Food for Life positively impacts their overall health


Meet FIES: The United Nations Food Insecurity Experience Scale. It’s a global tool that measures households’ food security experience – whether they can consistently access enough healthy food. At Food for Life, we believe that not having enough money for food is a big issue. Food charities, such as Food for Life, play a massive role in helping people become food secure, but without income support, households continue to need our services to ensure that they have enough to eat each week.

Our goal at Food for Life is to make a significant positive change in the lives of those we serve, and FIES data helps us do that. It shows us how food connects to other important parts of life, like having a home, managing money, and staying healthy. When families don’t have to worry about food, they can focus on other things that make life better.

Food programs that save money on groceries leave more money for other essential things. Neighbours who attend our markets receive approximately $140 per week of food thanks to the program – that’s $560 per month, offsetting what they have to spend on food. This offset allows people to pay bills, purchase additional groceries, cover other needs at home and medical expenses and/or enroll their kids in sports and activities.

When families can’t afford enough food, it’s often a sign that they’re struggling with other basic needs, like a safe home and necessary medicine. This kind of hardship hurts health. It makes people sick and costs a lot for healthcare. By helping families move along the Food Insecurity Experience Scale, we’re not only improving their food situation but also helping them stay healthier and saving money for the healthcare system.



  • 2 medium Onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) butter
  • 1 large Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into cubes (about 5 cups/1.25 L)
  • 2 Apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 4 cups (1 L) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) freshly chopped Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground nutmeg
  • Pumpkin seeds, for garnish



  • In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook for about 5 minutes until they soften.
  • Add the cubed butternut squash, diced apples, whole garlic cloves, broth, 1 cup (250 mL) of water, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pot. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the squash is tender. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
  • Working in batches, carefully blend the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the blended soup to the pot.
  • Stir in the maple syrup and ground nutmeg. Reheat the soup until it’s hot and ready to serve.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds for a delightful crunch.


Oakville’s “Intensify the Impact” collaborative food initiative, launched in partnership with Halton Region’s Community Investment Fund – Food for Life and the Oak Park Neighbourhood Center, is making significant strides in addressing food insecurity within Oakville’s most vulnerable community. Simply providing access to nutritious food, this innovative program aims to improve the community’s well-being holistically.

Since its June 14, 2023 launch, “Intensify the Impact” has garnered strong community support, with over ten volunteers participating weekly. Operating every Wednesday from 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM at Oakville Town Hall, the initiative initially served 60 households but has now expanded to 80 to reach 100. Participants receive a variety of fresh produce, meats, and bread, reducing food costs for many.

The program goes beyond food assistance. It serves three buildings in the Marlborough and White Oaks Neighbourhood, fostering a sense of belonging and convenience. Participants also receive information about financial aid, social assistance, and recreational programs.

The program’s success and positive impact are evident in the grateful feedback from participants who praise its innovative approach and assistance. As “Intensify the Impact” grows, it serves as a model for addressing food insecurity, offering hope for similar communities across the Region.


Participating in a Food for Life Team Experience is the perfect way for your business to give back to your community while fostering employee engagement, strengthening teamwork, and having fun! Bookings available in Burlington and Milton. Visit Group Experiences for details.

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