The idea of Winnipeg Harvest came to fruition after founder Lee Newton, a Winnipeg graphic designer, saw a TV feature on New York’s only food bank at the time, City Harvest. The show had an impact on Newton and she decided if no one was going to do something like this in Winnipeg, then she would.

Lee Newton March 4 1986

Newton didn’t want to open a place where people came to line up for handouts. Instead, she decided to open Winnipeg Harvest as a food distribution centre. Food would be donated to the Winnipeg Harvest warehouse where it would be redistributed to the social agencies in Winnipeg and Manitoba.

In 2017, Winnipeg Harvest shared food with nearly 64,000 people in Manitoba each month—more than 41% of whom are children. Winnipeg Harvest distributed more than 11.4 million pounds of food to more than 400 food distribution agencies across Manitoba, including food banks, soup kitchens, youth programs and drop-in-centres.

Winnipeg Harvest is a founding member of Food Banks Canada and a member of the Manitoba Association of Food Banks.

Photo: Winnipeg Harvest Founder, Lee Newton in The Herald, March 4, 1986.