Banking on Change Program


Originally envisaged as a temporary measure, Canada has come to rely on food banks to provide short-term food relief to nearly 900,000 people per month. While it is vital to meet the immediate needs of those living with food insecurity, food banks can also play a role in developing policies and programs that would eliminate the need for emergency food aid in the long term.

Please note that applications are now closed. Following the 2014-2016 cohort, the Banking on Change program will not be reopened for additional applicants.

Providing more healthy, fresh and diverse food in a way that respects the dignity of food bank users and more meaningfully engages them in solving problems related to hunger is an approach that is gaining traction among some food banks, and has the potential to transform the role of food banks as a whole in Canada. In 2014, the Trustees of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation approved a program to support food banks to move in this direction. 


The objective of the Banking on Change Fund was to increase food security at the community level by supporting a shift in local food banks away from an approach focused on emergency food aid towards one that embraces their role in providing healthy and sustainable food as well as addressing the root causes of hunger. This fund was developed with the support and advice of a committee made up of leaders from Food Banks CanadaCommunity Food Centres CanadaFood Secure Canada, and Community Foundations of Canada.

The fund was launched in June 2014, and 94 applications were received from across Canada. Grants were made to the following 12 local organizations:

Click here to view the Banking on Change RFP (note: the Banking on Change program will not be reopened for additional applicants). 

The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation 1002 Sherbrooke W., Suite 1800, Montreal, Québec H3A 3L6