This policy outlines the approach used by Harvest Manitoba to address complaints received from stakeholders about our activities, programs, services, staff or volunteers. Stakeholders may include donors, clients, volunteers, customers, suppliers, and other parties that have dealings with Harvest Manitoba.

Guiding Principles

• Harvest Manitoba believes in the importance of maintaining regular communications with our stakeholders and appreciates hearing feedback about how our organization can improve its services
• Harvest Manitoba receives and reviews complaints in a fair, impartial and respectful manner
• Complainants must be advised of their right to escalate their complaint to a more senior staff person if they are dissatisfied with treatment or outcome
• Complainants must be provided clear and understandable reasons for decisions relating to complaints
• Complainants must be provided with updates if and when these are available or requested
• The review of complaints will be used to assist Harvest Manitoba in improving its services, policies and procedures

Receiving and Handling Complaints

A complaint may be received verbally by phone or in person as well as in writing by mail and email or fax (general contact information provided below).

Many complaints and concerns may be adequately addressed by the individual(s) involved. Even when complaints are resolved by those concerned it is important that these discussions and resolutions be documented.

An employee or volunteer who initially receives a complaint (even if it is adequately resolved) will log the information in writing including the following information:

1. Name, organization and contact information of the complainant
2. Date of the complaint and date of incident if different
3. A description of the complaint
4. Communications or meetings related to the complaint
5. Any resolutions to the complaint
6. Escalation of the complaint and the date the complaint was forwarded to the Complaints Officer

In all instances, and as soon as possible, the information and log of a complaint will be forwarded to the Complaints Officer who will maintain a central log of complaints. The Complaints Officer will track the resolution of complaints and ensure follow-up with stakeholders as required.

Complaints Officer

Harvest Manitoba shall maintain a position of Complaints Officer. This responsibility will be designated to a Director or Senior Manager within the organization as determined by Chief Executive Officer.

The Complaints Officer will receive logs of all complaints from within the organization, track activities related to these complaints and maintain a report that will be provided to the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors on a regular basis.

The Complaints Officer will also receive complaints directly from stakeholders and in such instances, they will be logged and then the information directed to the appropriate Director or Senior Manager for investigation. Complaints about the conduct of the Complaints Officer will be addressed by the Chief Executive Officer.

Reporting Complaints to the Board of Directors

The Complaints Officer will prepare an annual summary of the complaints received, including number and type, and send it to the Executive Committee, who will report their conclusions to the Board of Directors in sufficient detail for board members to understand the overall nature and impact of complaints received.

Contacting the Complaints Officer at Harvest Manitoba

The Complaints Officer can be reached by email at or phone 1-204-982-3669. Mail may be sent to Harvest Manitoba, 1085 Winnipeg Avenue, Winnipeg MB, R3E 0S2.

If a complainant believes that their concerns have not been adequately addressed by Harvest Manitoba, they will be directed to contact Food Banks Canada at or phone 1-877-280-0329.

Additional Policies



Food Banks Canada and our network is committed to providing excellent service. We recognize that from time to time there may be inquiries, concerns or complaints and we believe that those that want to share their experiences or feedback have the right to tell us.

To streamline this process, Food Banks Canada is proud to be launching a new centralized Customer Experience Hotline, that will allow inquiries, concerns or complaints from across the country to be routed to a centralized location that will be managed by a neutral third-party vendor (On Call.) This new system will create an easier way for people to communicate, while allowing for collaborative problem solving and greater transparency across the network.

Process Summary

When a complaint is received through the Customer Experience Hotline it will be rated as a high, medium, or low risk potential. A high-risk complaint would involve safety concerns, food handling practices, a breach in the food banking code of ethics, suggestions of legal or financial wrongdoing or reputational risks. A medium risk complaint could include quality of service or food provided, issues related to communications (i.e., advertising or programs) and/or issues related to how donated funds are invested. Low-risk complaints could include general comments or complaints about food banks, food bank use, fundraising and/or communications.

Regardless of the risk level, all complaints will be handled seriously and professionally. Once a complaint is received Food Banks Canada will be notified immediately and will follow the internal process on handling the compliant. The assessment of the complaint and course of action will be based on the risk level and impact, with a commitment to follow-up directly with the individual making the complaint within eleven days of receiving the initial outreach.

Step-by-step Process Overview

1. A complaint is received through the hotline or email inbox and flagged as high, medium or low risk potential, by On Call.
2. The On Call, Customer Care Operator, walks the complainant through a pre-approved script and gathers all pertinent information, including their contact information, if they are not making an anonymous complaint.
3. A report is created based on the information gathered and inputted into an online portal that Food Banks Canada has real time access to. Food Banks Canada is also notified that a new compliant has been logged.
4. Upon reviewing the complaint Food Banks Canada will follow-up directly with the Food Bank to share the concern and feedback received. Food Banks Canada will also ensure the Provincial Association is copied on the email communication to be kept informed.
5. If the complaint has not been made anonymously, the Food Bank will be responsible for following up directly with the complainant within ten days.
6. Eleven days following the day of the initial complaint, an On Call, Customer Care Operator, will follow-up with the complainant to determine if the issues were resolved or unresolved. All follow-up calls will be marked within the online portal as resolved or unresolved.
7. If the complaint has not been resolved, it will be marked as unresolved within the online portal and Food Banks Canada will continue to work with the Food Bank directly on a resolution.

The Commitment to Share

As part of the updated agreements between the Provincial Associations and our National Standards, each food bank within the network must have a written policy outlining their complaints resolution process. To ensure consistency, all food banks must publicly post the complaint process including the centralized Customer Experience Hotline number (1.877.280.0329) and email address (

Contact Information

• Food Banks Canada Customer Experience Hotline 1.877.280.0329 or
• Questions about the hotline, process and implementation can be directed to Chantal Senecal, Director of National Programs, at
• Questions about specific complaints, tracking and follow-up can be directed to Jaclyn Beaulieu, Network Services Coordinator, at


Harvest Manitoba respects the privacy of our clients, partners, staff, volunteers and donors and we are committed to keeping your personal information accurate, confidential, secure and private. Harvest Manitoba does not sell, rent, or trade its lists of private information.


Harvest Manitoba’s Privacy Policy is based on, and complies with, Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), which includes the Ten Privacy Principles outlined in the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Privacy. For more information about this legislation, please contact Harvest Manitoba’s Privacy Officer listed below.

Our Privacy Principles

Accountability – we are responsible for all personal information in our possession, and we keep your personal information in the strictest confidence.

Identifying Purposes – we obtain and record personal information only for specific purposes that we disclose to you.

Consent – we collect, use or disclose your personal information only with your permission.

Limiting collection – information we collect from you is for the purposes identified at the time of collection.

Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention – we will keep your personal information only as long as necessary for the purposes for which it had been obtained. Harvest Manitoba has developed guidelines and procedures for the disposal/destruction of personal information once its original purposes have been fulfilled.

Accuracy – we make our best efforts to ensure that all personal information is accurate, complete, and up-to-date. You may seek a correction for any information that you find to be incomplete or incorrect.

Safeguards – Access to your personal information is protected by safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of that information and the method of collection.

Openness – Harvest Manitoba will readily make available to you information about our policies and practices, in a form that is simple and easy to understand.

Individual Access – we allow you access to your personal information.

Challenging Compliance – You may make a privacy complaint to Harvest Manitoba at any time by contacting the Privacy Officer listed below. All complaints are investigated and, should a complaint be justified, Harvest Manitoba will take all appropriate steps required to rectify the situation.

Contact Information

The Privacy Officer for Harvest Manitoba is Colleen McVarish and may be reached by email at or by telephone at 204-982-3666.