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Feb 13, 2024

Welcome to RIMScast. Your host is Justin Smulison, Business Content Manager at RIMS, the Risk and Insurance Management Society.


Justin interviews guest Daily Bread Food Bank CEO Neil Hetherington about the Daily Bread Food Bank, the rapidly accelerating numbers of people with post-secondary education making use of food charity in Toronto, the causes of increasing food insecurity, statistics on food inequity in the context of systemic racism, and how legislative solutions are needed to restore equity in food security.

Listen in to learn more about how the culture of your organization can be applied to find solutions to food inequity in your community.


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About RIMS and RIMScast.

[:14] Public registration for RISKWORLD 2024 is now open. Explore infinite opportunities with RIMS from May 5th through May 8th, 2024, in San Diego, California. Register at Be thankful that it’s a leap year! Advance Registration rates end on February 29th, 2024.

[:38] About today’s episode of RIMScast. We will be joined by Daily Bread Food Bank CEO Neil Hetherington. We will explore the intersection of risk and hunger.

[1:01] The RIMS-CRMP is the only competency-based risk management credential. That matters because earning the certification shows employers and recruiters that you have the skills necessary to manage risk and create value for your organization.
[1:17] Several Exam Prep virtual workshops are coming up. On March 19th and 20th, this two-day course will be presented with PARIMA. The next RIMS-CRMP-FED Exam Prep Virtual Workshop will be held from April 2nd through the 4th and led by Joe Mayo. Visit the certification page on for more information. A link is in these show notes.

[1:47] If there is a full group of employees in your organization who should earn the RIMS-CRMP, visit and register for the complimentary webinar, How Deloitte Leveraged the RIMS-CRMP: A Fireside Chat. A link is on this episode’s show notes.

[2:06] We will have leaders from the RIMS-CRMP Commission as well as leaders from Deloitte, who will speak to why they supported several of their employees in earning the RIMS-CRMP. It will be a relaxed, informational session and a lot of fun. Mark your calendars for March 15th and register!

[2:26] We are looking forward to RISKWORLD 2024 in sunny San Diego, California, from May 5th through May 8th, 2024. Public registration is open. Register today at and the link in this episode’s show notes. Early registration rates are available through February 29th, 2024, brought to you by RIMS and leap year!

[2:52] My guest is Neil Hetherington, the CEO of the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto, Canada. I had the pleasure of meeting Neil at the ORIMS 2023 year-end luncheon and we had a nice conversation. Recently, The Daily Bread Food Bank released its “Who’s Hungry Report 2023” so I thought this would be a great time to extend that dialog.

[3:25] We will discuss how food inequity can impact risk managers and the decisions that organizations need to make when hiring. Neil Hetherington, welcome to RIMScast!

[4:17] The Daily Bread Food Bank is Canada’s largest food bank. It took 38 years to serve one million clients in Toronto in a single year. It took two years to serve two million in a year. In 2023, they served three million.

[4:47] There has been exponential growth in the number of individuals who are food insecure. As depressing as that has been, it’s been a real joy working with a team that is firmly committed to a mission: What is going on that is requiring individuals to come to a food bank and how can we make a difference?

[5:16] In partnership, Daily Bread Food Bank and North York Harvest Food Bank have released Who’s Hungry 2023 — an annual profile of food insecurity and poverty in Toronto. Some of the increase in food insecurity may be attributed to the pandemic. Before the pandemic, they were serving about 60,000 a month, holding steady.

[5:56] The pandemic happened and the number doubled to 120,000 a month. Then inflation happened and it went to 240,000 a month. In December 2023, it was closer to 300,000. Twelve thousand individuals in Toronto who had never used a food bank signed up for the first time. Unemployment is low but food bank usage is high.

[7:12] Food insecurity is rising in Canada, particularly in large cities where affordable housing is at a premium. In Canada, if you are on Disability, you live in poverty. Individuals who are working at two or three part-time jobs don’t have health benefits or access to dental care. They are coming to food banks in the fastest-rising numbers.

[8:44] What can be done? Affordable housing helps individuals and employers who need workers close to jobs. It is good for legislative bodies to take care of the vulnerable. Individuals on disability should have an income that allows them to buy food. Employers should be given incentives to hire full-time employees with benefits to thrive.

[9:55] There’s a link to the “Who’s Hungry 2023” report in the show notes. The report says, “Systemic racism produces deep inequities with respect to food insecurity in Canada.” Black households are more than 3.5 times more likely, and Indigenous communities are 3 to 5 times more likely to be food insecure than White households.

[10:26] “These inequities stem from systemic discrimination that results in Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities facing barriers to education, employment, health care, and social services.” How do we change that reality?

[10:55] What are the ways that we can ensure that, first of all, there is no food insecurity, everyone can thrive in the community, and everybody can live in simple, decent, affordable housing?

[11:13] Neil says we’re pointing out the numbers, in terms of the inequity that is present, and giving legislatures across the country the opportunity to be able to deal and grapple with that problem.

[11:38] Neil discusses the changing profile of a client. Fifty-nine percent of individuals using food banks in the Toronto area have a post-secondary education. They’ve gone to college. They’ve done everything right. People with this level of education having to make use of food charity is obscene.

[12:40] The other changing demographic is individuals who are working but still have to rely on friends, family, and charity to get by.

[12:59] The report points to a number of recommendations for changing social policies.

[13:26] Neil says the report asks legislators to “Change this, please, eh?” It’s an uphill battle. The Daily Bread food bank has a dual mission to feed the need now and talk to every level of government about the opportunity to walk back from the ledge we’re on. Neil talks about recent and upcoming presentations of solutions to government leaders.

[15:34] The risk to a corporation is not having the right people. Are the employees able to feed their kids, is their mental health OK or do they have massive stressors that are not allowing them to focus on the task at hand? Neil works out an example where $50K is inadequate. Without nearby affordable housing, where will the workforce live? 

[18:10] RIMS plug time! RIMS Virtual Workshops: Visit to see the full calendar. On March 6th and 7th, our friend Elise Farnham hosts Applying and Integrating ERM. On March 12th and 13th, former RIMS president Chris Mandel hosts, Captives as an Alternate Risk Financing Technique.

[18:37] Information about these workshops and others is on the RIMS Virtual Workshops page and a link to the full calendar is in this episode’s notes.

[18:45] On February 29th, Hub International sponsors Ready for Tomorrow: Protecting Your Profits in the Property Market. On March 7th, in celebration of International Women’s Day, Origami Risk leads the session Women of Risk & Compliance: Leading & Learning One Step at a Time.

[19:06] Visit to learn more about these webinars and to register! Links are in the show notes. Webinar registration is complimentary for RIMS members.

[19:20] Quick shout-out to our friends at the Spencer Educational Foundation, which funds the education of next-generation risk management and insurance talent. Spencer’s scholarship program is open but coming to a close on March 1st for Ph.D. applicants.

[19:35] Spencer’s course development grant cycle is entertaining submissions through February 15th. Students and risk management and insurance faculty with interest can visit for additional details.

[20:46] Neil talks about the need to have donations year-round. After the holidays, the selves at food banks tend to get sparse. In July and August, kids are home from school and need to be fed. In July and August, the shelves are bare at the Food Bank. Those are difficult times. It’s an opportunity for you to give back to the community!

[22:14] Justin suggests the hashtag #FoodInFebruary to get social awareness going.

[22:57] The pandemic was revealing to a lot of people who saw lines at food banks very soon. The shutdown happened in the third week of March and the lines started getting very long in April. That one acute shock to the system drove people to food charity.

[23:35]  It was clear there was a lack of resilience in the population across North America. That should be alarming for legislatures. The Daily Bread Food Bank works hard to raise awareness of food insecurity through media and social media, integrating their research with their food advocacy program.

[24:05] Letting donors know the opportunity to divest their wealth into something that will be fantastic for the community, not only feeding the need now but also looking into decreasing those lineups. How do we change the systemic policies that are resulting in individuals having to make use of a food bank?

[24:45] You can donate food to any food bank, and it’s appreciated. It gives variety to what is distributed to individuals. Bring your company out to volunteer in a food bank. Donating funds allows them to purchase more food at a lower rate. Write a letter to any elected official asking them to tackle food insecurity in the best way they think possible.

[25:57] Everybody listening to this podcast, please have a conversation about this tonight with your family at dinner so we heighten awareness and so elected officials know that they are required to and have the authority to make good things happen.

[26:50] Any organization that is successful in North America has a detailed plan on how they are contributing to the community. Having an ESG strategy is important if you want younger employees to come to your firm. It’s an opportunity for new emerging leaders. Neil quotes Bryan Stevenson — “The opposite of poverty is not wealth but justice.”

[27:59] If you’re an employer, a community leader, or an elected official, you have the opportunity to spread justice every single day through the work that you’re doing and how you are developing the culture within your firm or organization.

[28:07] Neil Hetherington, it’s been great to see you again. I’m so glad that we had a chance to reconnect. “Who’s Hungry Report 2023: A Call to Action From a City in Crisis,” is available right now, it’s complimentary, and there’s a link in this episode’s show notes. 

[28:51] Neil hopes people will visit and push the Canada Disability Benefit. “Thank you to everyone who is that positive changemaker!”

[29:31] Special thanks again to Neil Hetherington of the Daily Bread Food Bank for joining us here today on RIMScast. A link to the Daily Bread Food Bank’s site and to its “Who’s Hungry Report 2023” is in this episode’s show notes. Look for the hashtag, #FoodInFebruary. Let’s be trendsetters and help people going through a hard time.

[30:01] Go to the App Store and download the RIMS App. This is an exclusive members-only benefit with all sorts of RIMS resources and coverage. Everybody loves the RIMS App!

[30:26] You can sponsor a RIMScast episode for this, our weekly show, or a dedicated episode. Links to sponsored episodes are in our show notes. RIMScast has a global audience of risk professionals, legal professionals, students, business leaders, C-Suite executives, and more. Let’s collaborate! Contact for more information.

[31:08] Become a RIMS member and get access to the tools, thought leadership, and network you need to succeed. Visit or email for more information. The RIMS app is a benefit of RIMS membership and is available only for RIMS members! You can find it in the App Store.

[31:33] Risk Knowledge is the RIMS searchable content library that provides relevant information for today’s risk professionals. Materials include RIMS executive reports, survey findings, contributed articles, industry research, benchmarking data, and more.

[31:48] For the best reporting on the profession of risk management, read Risk Management Magazine at, and check out the blog at Justin Smulison is Business Content Manager at RIMS. You can email Justin at

[32:10] Thank you for your continued support and engagement on social media channels! We appreciate all your kind words. Listen every week! Stay safe!


Mentioned in this Episode:

RISKWORLD 2024 — San Diego, CA | May 5 – 8, 2024


Spencer Educational Foundation

Spencer Educational Foundation — Grants Page

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

RIMS-CRMP Virtual Workshops

2024 International Risk Manager Survey conducted by FERMA in partnership with PwC FERMA

Who’s Hungry 2023 Report

RIMS Webinars:

Ready for Tomorrow: Protecting Your Profits in the Property Market | Sponsored by Hub International | Feb. 29, 2024

Women of Risk & Compliance: Leading & Learning One Step at a Time | Sponsored by Origami Risk | March 7, 2024

Elevating ERM in Federal Agencies: The RIMS-CRMP-FED Explored by Deloitte & Touche LLP and RIMS | March 15, 2024

Recertification: Keep Your RIMS-CRMP Active | Presented by RIMS | March 20, 2024

Upcoming Virtual Workshops:

See the full calendar of RIMS Virtual Workshops

RIMS-CRMP Prep Workshops

Related RIMScast Episodes:

“Diving in with RIMS 2024 President David Arick”

“Kicking Off 2024 with RIMS CEO Gary LaBranche”

“Scenario Planning with the RIMS SERMC in 2024”

“Recipes for Success with Wendy’s CRO Bob Bowman”

“Equality and the Risk Profession with Elisa Stampf”

Sponsored RIMScast Episodes:

“Alliant’s P&C Outlook For 2024” | Sponsored by Alliant (New!)

“Why Subrogation is the New Arbitration” | Sponsored by Fleet Response

“Cyclone Season: Proactive Preparation for Loss Minimization” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

“Subrogation and the Competitive Advantage” | Sponsored by Fleet Response

“Cyberrisk Outlook 2023” | Sponsored by Alliant

“Chemical Industry: How To Succeed Amid Emerging Risks and a Challenging Market” | Sponsored by TÜV SÜD

“Insuring the Future of the Environment” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“Insights into the Gig Economy and its Contractors” | Sponsored by Zurich

“The Importance of Disaster Planning Relationships” | Sponsored by ServiceMaster


RIMS Publications, Content, and Links:

RIMS Membership — Whether you are a new member or need to transition, be a part of the global risk management community!

RIMS Virtual Workshops

On-Demand Webinars

Risk Management Magazine

Risk Management Monitor

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

RIMS-CRMP Stories — New interview featuring Dr. Lianne Appelt!

Spencer Educational Foundation

RIMS DEI Council


RIMS Events, Education, and Services:

RIMS Risk Maturity Model®

RIMS Events App Apple | Google Play

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Sponsor RIMScast: Contact or for more information.


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About our guest

Neil Hetherington, Daily Bread Food Bank CEO

Tweetables (Edited For Social Media Use):

There has been exponential growth in the number of individuals who are food insecure. As depressing as that is, it’s a real joy working with a team that is firmly committed to a mission. What is going on that is requiring individuals to come to a food bank? — Neil Hetherington


What are the ways that we can ensure that, first of all, there is no food insecurity, everyone can thrive in community, and everybody can live in simple, decent, affordable housing? Those are the questions. — Neil Hetherington


“The opposite of poverty is not wealth but justice.” — Bryan Stevenson, quoted by Neil Hetherington


If you’re an employer, a community leader, or an elected official, you have the opportunity to spread justice every single day through the work that you’re doing and how you are developing the culture within your firm or organization. — Neil Hetherington