Privacy policy

Privacy of personal information is an important principle to the Richmond Hill Food Bank. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the goods and services we provide. We are committed to retaining personal information for only as long as service to the public and our clients require.

This document describes our privacy policies.

What is Personal Information?

Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to his or her personal characteristics (e.g. gender, age, home address or phone number, income, race, family status).

Personal information is to be contrasted with business information (e.g. an individual's business address and telephone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation.

Who Are We?

The Richmond Hill Food Bank is a charitable Canadian organization whose objective is to provide temporary emergency food assistance to those in need. The food bank pursues its objectives for the benefit of the public  and in service to its clients.

We collect personal information primarily for the purpose of evaluating clients for qualification, as well as for the purposes of maintaining records. We restrict access to any personal information we hold as effectively as is reasonably possible having regard to currently available technology and the sensitivity of the information held.

A secondary purpose is for the collection of certain personal information is the contact information of our volunteers and any information we need for safely achieving our goals. We may keep records for maintenance of home contact information so that we can contact our clients or volunteers, should it be necessary.

Concerning Members of the General Public

For members of the general public, our primary purpose for collecting personal information is to provide notice of special events or to make them aware of our organizations.

For example, while we try to collect business contact information where possible, we might collect home addresses, fax numbers and email addresses. We try to obtain consent before collecting any such personal information and we will, upon request, immediately remove any personal information from our distribution list. We try not to collect sensitive personal information.

On our Web site, with the exception of cookies (electronic markers identifying computers that have previously visited our Web site), we only collect the personal information provided to us and only use that information for the purposes it was given to us (e.g. to respond to an email message, or to apply for volunteering). Cookies are only used to facilitate navigation on our Web site and are not used to monitor individuals.

We recognize that various government agencies (e.g. Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Human Rights Commission, etc.) have the authority to review our files and interview our staff as a part of their mandates. We do not have much choice about some of these purposes (e.g. external regulation).

Protecting Personal Information

We understand the importance of protecting personal information. For that reason, we have taken the following steps:

  • Paper information is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area.
  • Electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in a locked or restricted area at all times. In addition, passwords are used on computers and unattended computers automatically become password protected and inaccessible after a short period of time.
  • Paper information is transmitted through sealed, addressed envelopes or boxes by reputable companies.
  • Electronic information is transmitted through a direct telecommunications line.
  • Staff is trained to collect, use and disclose personal information only as necessary to fulfill their duties and in accordance with our privacy policy.

Retention and Destruction of Personal Information

We need to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions about the services provided and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies. However, we do not want to keep personal information too long, in order to protect an individual's privacy.

We destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, we ensure that the hard drive is physically destroyed.

You Can Look at Your Information

With some exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. Often all you have to do is ask. We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information you do not understand (e.g. short forms, technical language, etc.). We will need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing you with this access. We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests or to refuse repetitive requests.

If there is a problem, we may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will tell you within 30 days if at all possible and will tell you the reason why we cannot give you access.

If you believe there is a mistake in any personal information about you that we possess, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected.

Do You Have a Question?

Contact our Manager. We will attempt to answer any questions or concerns you might have.

If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices, you may make it in writing to our Manager, who will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly and that you are provided with a formal decision and reasons in writing.

This policy is made under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. It is a complex Act and provides some additional exceptions to the privacy principles that are too detailed to set out here.

For more general inquiries, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be reached at:

112 Kent Street

Ottawa, ON K1A 1H3

Phone: 613-995-8210

Toll-free: 1-800-282-1376

Fax: 613-947-6850

TTY: 613-992-9190


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