The Food Security Action Table of the Halton Region Community Safety and Well Being Initiative is seeking consultants to help shape the future of food supports in the region. Food for Life is facilitating this process on behalf of the Food Security Action Table.

Request for Proposal


About the Community Safety and Well-Being in Halton (CSWB)

Food Security Action Table (FSAT)

Halton’s Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB), Food Security Action Table (FSAT) strives to support greater coordination, effectiveness and impact of the food security system in Halton region.

The FSAT is comprised of organizations with knowledge and expertise about the food security sector in Halton along with provision of direct service to people or organizations that focus on bulk food or storage ability/logistics as part of their charitable mandate. The organizations* may include all or some of the following:

Regional Serving Organizations

  • Halton Food for Thought
  • Halton Food4Kids
  • Food for Life
  • Country Heritage Park
  • Compassion Society of Halton

Burlington Organizations

  • Burlington Food Bank
  • Open Doors St. Christopher’s
  • Salvation Army Burlington (client support)

Oakville Organizations

  • Kerr Street Community Services/Mission
  • Oak Park Neighbourhood Centre
  • Oakville Fareshare

Milton Organizations

  • Milton Community Resource Centre
  • Syyidah Centre-Milton Halal Foodbank
  • Milton Salvation Army

Halton Hills Organizations

  • Acton Foodshare
  • Georgetown Bread Basket

* Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of food security organizations in Halton and that there may be an opportunity to include 1-2 additional key stakeholders.


Halton’s Regional Charitable Food System has similar challenges to other jurisdictions that we hope to address by improving our shared system.  Seasonality of food volumes, duplication of service to clients by multiple agencies, infrastructure or human capacity to safely store and share perishable and non-perishable foods within the sector, volatility in financial resources due to donations being primary income source, and various service models and requirements.

Currently the FSAT has two projects in process.  The first is the Ontario Works support program that engages Burlington Food Bank, Food for Life and Kerr Street Community Services. This program, entitled “Halton Food Connect” provides a monthly food support based on household size, and impacts those on  social assistance who are not  receiving housing supplement and most in need.

The second is based on our desire to collaboratively develop a cohesive, coordinated and effective food security system in Halton region with relation to acquisition, storage, and distribution of charitable food supports in Halton. Our anchor statement and intent of the collective is to ensure that “Every Halton Resident in Need, regardless of where they live, has access to sufficient, nutritious food through service that is consistent and equitable.

This initiative of the FSAT is built on a report conducted in early 2022 by Value Chain Management Inc. and subsequent work of the Food Security Action Table.

It is supported by Attachment #2 to staff report SS-17-22 Improving Acquisition and Distribution in Halton’s Food Security Sector.

For clarity, the following definitions are provided related to this project.

  • Acquisition: The act of received donated, rescued, or purchased food, for the purpose of increasing supply to food insecure Halton residents.
  • Distribution: The movement of food goods from suppliers to the food security access point that will be visited by food insecure Halton residents.

O Direct distribution: From suppliers to food security access point.

O Indirect distribution: From suppliers to intermediary agency to food security access point.

  • Storage: Keeping perishable and non-perishable food goods on site in room temperature/ambient, refrigerated or frozen environments to promote regular and continuous supply of food goods for food insecure Halton residents in a safe manner.

What We Are Seeking

The FSAT is looking for a consultant(s) to undertake a detailed report with practical and realistic recommendations to help guide the FSAT in its decision-making. This will be through the collection, analysis, and recommendations about the current state of the food support system in Halton and recommendations on system planning actions to inform structure, service models, infrastructure needs, and establish related benchmarks to improve our shared ability to acquire, store and distribute charitable food supports.

The Food Security Action Table values detailed in-person dialogues and insights based on best practice and evidence.

What we are seeking in the consultant (s):

  • Knowledge and understanding of the Ontario and Halton food security sector, experience and insights into other jurisdictions in Canada, and globally would be considered an asset.
  • Experience in private sector food systems that have a multi-site model for food storage and service delivery would be considered an asset.
  • Expert knowledge and experience in supply chain and logistics related to food movement and storage
  • Understanding of cold storage systems for food
  • Strong interviewing, communication and presentations skills
  • Ability to gather, synthesize and communicate back in a clear and succinct manner that is easily understandable by the general public
  • An ability to manage this project on time and budget

Scope of Work

The Consultant(s) will work with a lead agency and steering committee directly as well as identified key organizations across Halton’s food security sector to support an improved understanding of:

  • A detailed review of current supply chain systems including facilities, fleets, storage and other related infrastructure.  Illustrations graphics and facts about food moved by this system including values and items that are acquired through donations, rescue or purchase.
  • A detailed review of human resource capacity of the system including volunteers and staff
  • A detailed review of financial resource capacity of the system, including but not limited to primary funders, capital and operating budgets as well as financial reserves.
  • A review of values-based service philosophy of each organization with references to any parameters/rules of their respective member organizations to identify any barriers/opportunities for system alignment
  • Complete an environmental scan and analysis of similar agencies in other jurisdictions to identify best practices in food acquisition, distribution and storage
  • An environmental scan and review of common food service volumes of Halton agencies to clients from identified agencies including frequency, volumes and composition.
  • A review of current data management systems for supply chain and client management and data tracking. Identify requirements and assess feasibility of a metrics tracking system(s) solution
  • It is expected that the consultant(s) would conduct in depth on-site visits and interviews with selected agencies (in addition to remote engagements for follow-up to validate findings)
  • Ability to conduct information gathering sessions, complete research and analysis, and document an accurate understanding of business operations and services
  • Expertise to establish common metrics to improve measurement and tracking of operations ·


Key Expected Outcomes

The outcome of the findings will be clearly defined and illustrated and will then allow the consultant(s) to apply their recommendations using best practice from both private food/retail service or charitable food sectors to optimize the food security system in Halton to be the most efficient system possible. This includes findings and recommendations that are realistic from the collection and analysis of the following:

  • Current asset inventory and map, system model, challenges to efficiency, data related to food volumes, dollars used for purchase and timing, food variety
  • Desired future state models(s) for acquisition and distribution (includes: structure, infrastructure recommendations and role functions).
  • Detailed GAP analysis between current and future states with specific references to barriers/challenges/opportunities, and related cost implications
  • Series of metrics and benchmarks to measure potential efficiency of the system including reduction of duplication of service
  • A standard Food volume service range (amount per week/per client) and nutritional mix informed by Canada’s Food Guide, and best practice from other organizations.
  • Identifying client density and need in order to determine client demand by geography
  • Inclusion of visual materials to present the findings is required
  • Recommendations that are practical and realistic for implementation


  • Timing for the project is five months from start to completion, anticipating this would be February 2023 to June 2023.  This includes:
    • regular monthly check-ins with the FSAT steering committee,
    • a two-week draft report review period,
    • additional interviews or insights and,
    • a final report and presentation in a multi-media and written report and presentation.

Pricing Summary

  • The consultant agrees that it abides to compensate its employees, sub-contractors and other related human resources no less than the regional living wage established by the Ontario Living Wage® chart for Halton.
  • The prices the Vendor uses to complete the Pricing Summary shall be exclusive of any taxes, existing or announced (i.e. HST), unless otherwise indicated.  Taxes should be noted separately.
  • Prices shall be in Canadian Dollars.
  • This is a fixed price engagement.  Prices shall remain firm for the period of the engagement.
  • The lead agency is not responsible for any travel, meals or accommodation expenses incurred by the Vendor, its employees or sub-contractors.
  • The lead agency may award in whole, or in part, as detailed and quoted in the Pricing Summary based on budget availability. For clarity, the lead agency intends to make one award to the highest ranked and lowest cost compliant bidder. Where a partial award is warranted for budgetary reasons, the lead agency intends to award to the highest ranked and lowest cost compliant bidder of all sections. Total amount of the award will not exceed $70,000 CAD inclusive of applicable taxes.
  • In your submission, please provide as much detail and cost breakdown as possible. For example: a detailed cost breakdown that includes the number of hours per deliverable and hourly rates to arrive at the Total Price.
  • The consultant may propose alternate approaches if an alternate approach is cost effective and provides the lead agency with an equivalent or superior outcome.  Alternate approaches should be listed in the Alternative Approaches section with a detailed explanation of the approach and why it is recommended
  • Funding for this initiative has been provided by Halton Region and that the successful vendor accepting the contract and funds understands and is subject to the audit provisions by Halton Region.
  • The vendor agrees to abide and sign to the Halton Region Vendor Code of Conduct.

Expressions of Interest

To complete your expression of interest please use the major headings in this RFP to complete your submission:

  • About You/ Your Consultancy Firm
  • Specifics About your Ability to Deliver on this RFP
  • Total Price
  • Alternate Approaches (if applicable)
  • References from related work
  • Addendums

Submissions must be received to actiontablerfp@foodforlife.ca no later than January 31, 2023 at 12:00 pm EST.  Any submissions received after this time will not be considered.

Submission does not constitute acceptance or awarding of the contract or service.  Not all submissions will receive a reply.

We retain the right to withdrawal this RFP at any time before awarding of the contract.

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