The Ottawa Food Bank

What They do

The Ottawa Food Bank’s mission is to collect and distribute food to member agencies serving people in need in the Ottawa area.  It was founded in 1984 in the basement of an Ottawa Police station by volunteers.  Since then, It has grown substantially, moving into its own building on the east side of Ottawa, acting as a central collection and distribution center for 112 emergency food programs throughout Ottawa. 

  • 14 tons of food every day, of which 45% are fresh foods.
  • Over 2.6 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables annually including over 80,000 pounds of local produce
  • 114 agencies feeding 38,000 people a month
  • Budget of $13.2M, 87% from donations

What We Did

The Goal:  Understand supply and demand of orders

Datasets Used

  • 10 years of OFB food order and delivery data, 2005 to 2014
  • Ottawa Neighbourhood Study
  • 2011 National Household Survey, Statistics Canada
  • City of Ottawa ward data

Analysis Done

Analysis for this project  centered on an examination of imbalances in the distribution pipeline to its several dozen member agencies. Food request categories with ongoing deficits were exposed in order to inform future drive campaigns.

A breakdown of client demand was accomplished using a geographic map of Ottawa municipal ward boundaries.

Finally, an extensive analysis of the OFBs support for newborn babies was conducted and revealed some astonishing facts about the need for diapers in certain neighbourhoods.

“It’s like finding out what your teenagers have been up to!”  – Mike Maidment, Director