There have been a few questions about the change from regular operations or a “grocery store model” in the food bank at EFFC to the food hamper model we will be running until further notice. Hopefully this helps explain our new format! Please read carefully before arriving to a food bank shift to pick up hampers.

How does EFFC’s food bank usually run?

Our food bank is built around giving our members as much dignity as possible. This includes choices in what foods they take home, recognizing dietary restrictions and food preferences. We typically run on a ‘grocery store model’ which means our warehouse looks like any supermarket, with shelves of food, refrigeration for produce and fresh foods, and grocery carts. Members are able to “shop” and pick out what suits them and their families for the month.

What is a food hamper model?

On advice from Region of Peel and the Ministry of Health, the food bank at EFFC will temporarily run on a food hamper model. Our lovely volunteers have donated their time to create prepackaged boxes before regular shifts. The boxes are filled with items based on needs, popularity, stock and availability of food and other products.

When is this change happening?

Beginning Tuesday, March 17th until further notice.

What is in the hampers?

There will be premade hampers (boxes) 1, 2, 3, and 4 with mostly the same items in each. There will also be a bag filled with fresh foods (milk, eggs, produce, protein if available). Items will vary as we run out of, or refill stock. Items such as cereal peanut butter, pasta, granola bars, toilet paper, and nonperishables will be in boxes 1 through 4 (when available).

Do I get a choice of what items are in my allotment of hampers?

NO. Unfortunately, there is no choice, no exchanges, and no negotiations. We are doing the best we can under the circumstances and our only alternative is to close. Thank you for your understanding.

As a food bank member, how many boxes will I get?

Hampers 1 and 2 are for families of 1 to 2 members.

Hampers 1, 2, and 3 will be for families of 3 to 6 members.

Hampers 1, 2, 3, and 4 are for families of 7+ members.

Based on availability, all families receive one extra hamper (bag) of fresh produce.

How do I receive my hampers?

As of now, food bank shifts are running at the same time and locations. Please arrive to your regular monthly shift, with your card and information to pick up your hampers. Check in is still required. Receiving your hamper should be a quick in and out process. Carry outs will be provided.

When should I come pick up my hampers?

The food bank is currently running at regular days, locations and hours. Please do not arrive early as the door will be locked until shift time and there is no waiting area. You must wait outside until the shift starts and its your turn so please arrange transportation accordingly and factor in the weather conditions that day.

How can I take my hampers home?

You can take the hamper box home with you as is. If you’d like to transfer over to your own bags or boxes, you can do so in a segregated area.

What about my dietary restrictions?

There will be two streams of hampers, one halal and one not halal. Other than that, we cannot make any changes. Please note, there may be nut and nut products in the hampers (all packaged). If you are allergic, please beware and check all labels.

What if there are items I don’t want in the hamper?

There is no time to look through the hamper during the shifts, as we’d like to hand them out as quick as possible and limit contact. If you notice items you don’t want or need in your hamper, please return them to our bins in local grocery stores so we can give them to other food bank members.

What if I require extra items like diapers and/or feminine hygiene products?

If requested, these items can be added to your hamper based on availability.

I am a registered member at the food bank but my membership has expired/is expiring. What do I do?
We are currently suspending renewals and you will be able to get food with recently expired membership until we are back to normal operations and advocacy.

I am in need of food and have never been to EFFC. Can I become a member?

If you are in need of food and live in our catchment area (L5L, L5M, L5N) you can still register to be a member and get hampers for you and your family. Advocacy is currently on hold but we will register you in our system. Please bring the appropriate information (identification for the whole family, proof of address). More info here:

Will there be snacks and beverages available while I wait for my hamper?

NO. There will be no waiting area, no snacks, and no beverages provided while you wait to keep the process quick and efficient. We have also removed our help yourself items for the time being.
What about social distancing?

We ask that everyone practice social distancing and keep one metre or 3 feet of distance between you and the person/people next to you. No more than 3 food bank members will be allowed inside to pick up their hampers at one time. Only one member per family will be permitted to enter the building.

What else is being done to keep everyone safe?

Read about all our safety measures here:

We are doing the best we can under the circumstances and hope you understand these measures are being put into place for everyone’s safety. Things are constantly changing, and any pictures or procedures stated above can change with little to no notice. We will return to the grocery store model and our regular operations as soon as we are able.

Keep an eye on our website across our social media channels for any changes and developments. Thank you for your patience as we work through best practices and procedures.

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