FAQ

About Feed Nova Scotia

Feed Nova Scotia is not a food bank, it is a collection and distribution point for the 146 food banks, shelters and meal programs in our network. We don't hand out food at our organization, but we can certainly help you find support. Use our Find Food tool

No. Feed Nova Scotia is non-partisan and we do not receive government funding.

Feed Nova Scotia is a registered charity, and we rely on donations from the community to fulfil our mission.

The heart! We're fortunate to receive food donations from many different resources, like retailers, farmers, corporations, and individuals.

Our member agencies are food banks, shelters, and meal programs across the province.  We have 146 member agencies, and we provide them with regular deliveries of donated food and help increase their capacity to support people in their community. 

Applications are approved based on the areas of greatest need and our capacity to support the agency requesting membership. All 146 of our member agencies commit to the Ethical Foodbanking Code and renew their membership contract annually.

We are one of ten provincial organizations that belong to Food Banks Canada, a national charitable organization that represents the food bank community across the country.

Food banks emerged in the 1980s and sadly the need continues to grow. We know that emergency food support is a short-term solution to a broader social problem that is too big for Feed Nova Scotia to solve alone.  We will continue calling attention to the reality of the situation, educate the public on the challenges, and advocate for change.

Donating Money

Yes. Someone at the workplace will need to collect the information required for an income tax receipt (full names, home addresses, and amount donated) and provide that information when the donation is made. It is important to ensure that the total of the funds collected match or exceed the total amount requested in tax receipts. The information collected would include a declaration that those listed are the true donors of the funds and request tax receipts.

A non-monetary donation may be eligible for what is called an ‘in-kind’ tax receipt. There are several rules set by the CRA to guide when and how a tax receipt can be issued for in-kind donations, so they must be handled on a case-by-case basis. We encourage you to contact us to review the details of your donation before it is made. In-kind receipts require additional information to be issued, like the fair market value of the item(s), a description of the item(s) and an appraiser’s name and address, if applicable.

Contact us and give us details about the donation you made. If the donation was eligible for a tax receipt, we can issue a replacement receipt. Please note that a replacement tax receipt cancels the receipt number of the one it’s replacing, so if the old receipt is located, it will no longer be valid for income tax purposes. We don’t issue duplicate receipts (i.e. receipts that have the same tax receipt number as a previous receipt). If you made your donation online via CanadaHelps, you can request a new receipt on CanadaHelps.org.

At this time, electronic tax receipts are only available if you make a donation through our website. Those receipts will be issued by CanadaHelps directly to the email address you provide at the time of the donation. For all other donations, tax receipts will be sent by regular mail to the address you provide. The option to issue any tax receipt by email is an option we’re working toward offering in the future.

This is up to you! By default, an income tax receipt would be issued shortly after receiving your donation. However, if you tell us that you’d prefer to receive a single receipt that includes the total of all your donations in a calendar year, we will typically issue that in the first week of February of the following year. Most of our donation appeals include a checkbox that allows you to choose to have an annual receipt. You may also contact us and make the request. An exception to this are donations made by members of our give12 monthly giving program. They always receive an annual receipt for their scheduled giving and for any eligible donations made during the period they are a monthly donor.

Anyone who has requested an annual receipt or is a member of give12: our monthly giving program, can expect to receive their tax receipt near the beginning of February of the following year. Exceptions to this would be any in-kind tax receipts, which cannot be included with the annual receipt due to special requirements set by the CRA. All other receipts are sent soon after the donation is made, most often within two weeks. During extremely busy periods such as Christmas, delays can sometimes happen.

Generally, no, an official income tax receipt cannot be issued in this scenario. The benefit received by the business is to their reputation and their sales may have increased because of the promotion (collectively called an ‘advantage’). Since the CRA requires any advantage to be subtracted from an eligible donation, and the value of the advantage cannot be made clear, it’s not possible to issue a receipt. Often, the business chooses to claim the donation as an advertising expense instead of a charitable gift. The CRA webpage for cause-related marketing offers more guidance.

We are usually not allowed to return a donor’s gift as outlined by the CRA rules for charities. Once the gift has been made we must use the gift for our charitable purpose. There are exceptions. For instance, if we mistakenly charge a credit card twice for single gift we would refund the second transaction. In some circumstances where a request for a refund was made without cause, we can offer to transfer funds to another registered charity instead of refunding the gift.

Any misuse of the right to issue official income tax receipts can lead to a variety of monetary penalties up to and including losing our charitable registration status. We always follow the rules for charities set by the CRA. Please contact us before donating if you are concerned that an official income tax receipt may not be issued, or may not be issued in the way you expect.

We are a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This allows us to issue income tax receipts for eligible donations. It’s important to know that not all donations are eligible for income tax receipts and that the CRA sets the guidelines for charity tax receipts. Charities are not required to give a receipt for donations, but if the gift is eligible we make every effort to do so.

To be eligible for an official income tax receipt, the donation must be given freely to the charity. This means that contractual or court-ordered donations, for example, are not considered gifts, and an official income tax receipt will not be issued. There must also be a transfer of property to the charity. Additional conditions may affect whether the donation can be considered a gift eligible for an official tax receipt — so each transaction is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Unsure if your donation qualifies as a gift eligible for an official income tax receipt? Please contact us and we’ll let you know if your donation qualifies.

For any eligible gift, the following information about the true donor and donation is required by the CRA to be on an official income tax receipt issued by the charity:

  • Full name of the donor (first and last name of an individual or registered business name)
  • Full address of the donor (home address of an individual, work address for businesses, organizations, etc.)
  • Date of the donation
  • Eligible amount of the donation — this may be calculated based on other conditions, such as whether the donor received anything in return for the donation

Some examples of gifts that may be eligible are:

  • Money (including gift cards not donated by the issuer)
  • Securities
  • Certified cultural property, capital property, or personal property
  • Inventory
  • Ecologically sensitive land

Some examples of gifts that are not usually eligible are:

  • Contributions of services (time, skills, effort)
  • Fees for events or programs
  • Purchase of lottery tickets or merchandise
  • Gift cards and certificates donated by the issuer
  • Money collected from others
  • Cause-related marketing

The CRA requires all receipts to be issued in the name of the true donor. Gifting of receipts is not allowed. In these circumstances, we would be pleased to issue an acknowledgement card to the recipient to notify them that a donation was made on their behalf. The tax receipt would be issued in your name.

No. Sometimes workplaces hold raffles with a prize being a donation to the charity of the winner’s choice. In those cases, the winner is not the ‘true donor.’ If, however, the winner of the raffle prize is given the prize, the winner may voluntarily choose to give that prize to a charity.

Volunteering

Yes...and no. We ask staff and volunteers not to wear any perfumes, colognes or other scented products. But because of some of the products we receive (detergents, soaps, etc.), there is a chance there will be scents in the air, specifically in our warehouses.

You must be 16 years or older to volunteer on your own. We welcome volunteers between 8 and 15 years old, but they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Absolutely! We do our best to keep our schedules flexible, so we can work to find the perfect role for you!

Unfortunately, we're only open for volunteering Monday to Friday during business hours. But there are special events during evenings and weekends that require lots of volunteers. This might be the perfect opportunity for you.

Parking can be tricky around our 213 Bedford Highway facilities, but resourceful types can usually find spots listed on our public parking map (.pdf).

Check out Halifax Transit for information on the 16, 18, 80, 81, 82, 90 & 35 Express, which all stop near our 213 Bedford Highway location.

Finding Food

Take a deep breath, we’re in this together. You’ve taken a crucial step and people are ready to help you. Use our Find Food tool. If there isn’t a food bank or meal program in your area, call 211 or visit www.ns.211.ca and select ‘Food Support’.

You’ll need one piece of valid ID for each person in your household and, when possible, a piece of mail with your name and home address on it. That’s it. If you don’t have a fixed address, call us (902)457-1900 and we can help.

Identification helps us collect data and report accurate statistics about food bank use in Nova Scotia. These statistics help us understand the issues , advocate for Nova Scotians, and set targets for the amount of support we need.  

Feed Nova Scotia and our member food banks are committed to respecting your privacy. Personal information is protected and only available to the food bank(s) supporting you and representatives of Feed Nova Scotia. Information that is shared publicly will not include any personal information. If you have any questions please contact us

Every food bank operates slightly differently, but they’ll all help you through the process. Some may ask you to stand in a line up or a take a number, while others may ask you to check in at a desk. 

We distribute perishable and non-perishable foods to our member network. Depending on the member agency you visit, you can expect a variety of canned and dry goods, as well as produce, dairy products, and protein-rich items. Some agencies will also have household products available like toiletries and cleaning supplies.  

On average, a food bank will give you 3-5 days of food per person in your household. 

Some food banks package up food orders ahead of time, while others give you the chance to select your food. 

Usually, food banks can provide food to a household once a month. This can vary depending on the size of your household and how each food bank operates. 

An expiry date tells you the last day the product is safe to eat. A best-before date tells you the last day recommended for the best flavor and quality.  

Food safety is a top priority for us. We work hard to ensure the safety of the food we distribute, and we support our member agencies in doing the same. For more details on food safety visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website. 

We don’t. But we're proud to uphold a code of ethics that recognizes every Canadian has the right to food, and we value the principles of respect and compassion. People often say asking for help is the hardest part. We don't think anyone should have to prove why they need it. 

There is no test for eligibility. Anyone in need of emergency food support may access a food bank.

Our data shows the average number of times a household accesses a food bank in a six-month period is three times or less.