The Big Social FAQs

If you’re new to The Big Social or need a bit of help setting up your page, this guide will help you learn more about the the event and how it works.

Getting Started

When is The Big Social?

The Big Social happens between Oct. 9 and 31, 2020

Who should participate?

The Big Social is for everyone! Food-lovers, home cooks, families, book clubs, co-workers, and people who want to do good in their community. If you love to bring people together over food, and you want to make a difference in the lives of Canadians experiencing poverty and food insecurity, you should host a meal during The Big Social!

Where does the money go?

The Big Social directly funds Community Food Centre programs in Kamloops, Calgary, Winnipeg, Iqaluit, Stratford, Hamilton, Toronto, Perth, Montreal, Eel Ground First Nation, N.B., and Dartmouth. 

75% of funds raised in those communities will stay in those communities. The remaining 25% of funds will support Community Food Centres Canada to innovate new programs and  power a good food movement across Canada.

You can choose to direct the donations from your Big Social to Community Food Centres Canada or any of our Community Food Centres across Canada. See a list here.

How can I get involved?

Getting involved is easy!

  1. Register to host a fundraiser between October 9 -31.
  2. Set a fundraising goal. 
  3. Get creative with virtual gatherings so we can all stay safe and healthy. 
  4. Invite guests to make a donation to help low-income communities.
  5. Share food. Change lives.

Can I attend just any event?

The majority of Big Social events are private events and are for invited guests only.

 I can't host an event but I want to participate. How can I join in?

If space is your challenge, consider whether you have a friend or colleague you could join forces with to host.

If time is your challenge, you can still contribute by making a direct donation to Community Food Centres Canada, or to your local Community Food Centre. It only takes a minute to donate online.

Do I have to register to participate?

We encourage people who want to host a Big Social event to register their event online. Our online platform makes it easy to plan your event, invite and communicate with your guests, and track your fundraising progress.

Do I have to donate to participate?

Donations are not mandatory, but we encourage you to donate if you can. Every donation helps us give low-income communities better access to healthy food and programs that change lives.

I'm busy between Oct. 9 and 31, but I really want to participate. Can I host my Big Social event before or after those dates?

If you’re not able to host an event during the campaign period of Oct. 9 and 31, you can still register your event and host it at a time that’s more convenient for you.


How do I participate in the Big Social safely during COVID-19?

The great thing is, The Big Social can be whatever you want. It can definitely be virtual and it can be safe and in line with local public health guidelines. 

Here are some fun ideas: 

  1. Cross-country (or global!) toast
  2. Bad/good cook challenge
  3. Halloween gatherings 
  4. Join our chef-led public social!

Not sure what to do and want to keep it simple? 

Consider gathering with your family or colleagues online. Take a photo of your meal or gathering, share on social, and ask your network to make a donation and help those who are struggling to put good food on the table. Even during the weekday!

You can find more ideas on our Resources page.

What responsibilities do I have as a host?

Beyond planning a fun event, and inviting your friends to make a donation, we recommend you have your guests sign the waiver, especially if you plan on hosting an in-person event.  This will protect you in your role as host, as well as Community Food Centres Canada as the organizer of the event.  Don't forget to scan/photo them and send them to

I've been invited to a Big Social, what do I need to know?

The host who invited you will provide all important event details.  If you haven't already, don't forget to make a donation to your host's event page to help them reach their goal. Before you attend the event be sure to review this waiver and agree to the terms and conditions for participation.  Don't forget to scan/photo them and send them to

I need ideas and inspiration for my event. Can you help?

You bet! You can find everything you need to host a successful Big Social on our Resources page, including social media graphics and copy, conversation starters, fundraising tips and more.

Will I/my guests get a tax receipt for my/our donation(s)?

Yes, people who make a donation online of any amount will receive a charitable tax receipt from Community Food Centres Canada after they’ve completed their donation.

People who make a donation by cheque or cash of $20 or more will receive a tax receipt from Community Food Centres Canada within three months of the date of the donation. For offline donations, only amounts of $20 or more will be eligible for a charitable tax receipt.

 I/my guests don't want to make a donation online. How can I/they make an offline donation/pledge?

Download this pledge sheet to make and/or collect cash and/or cheque donations. When it’s complete, email it to trisha [at] cfccanada [dot] ca or mail it to Community Food Centres Canada, 80 Ward St., Suite 100, Toronto ON M6H 4A6.

 I'm a host. Will I be reimbursed for the costs of putting on my Big Social event?

The Big Social is a fundraising event to raise money to support low-income communities. We are not able to reimburse hosts for costs associated with hosting their Big Social event.

Something's come up and I have to cancel my event. Can I remove my event from the website?

Contact Trisha Starostina at 416 531 8826 ext 303 or trisha [at] cfccanada [dot] ca.

Something's come up and I have to cancel my event. What happens to the donations made to my fundraising page?

Donations made to your fundraising page are final transactions and can’t be reimbursed. We thank you for your generous contributions to giving low-income communities better access to healthy food and programs that change lives.

How do I refer a friend to register?

Share the campaign website with them and encourage them to host their own event!

Need some help setting up or using your Big Social page?

Check out our quickstart guide, which will walk you through everything from setting up and customizing your page, to sharing it with friends and family, to checking on how your event is doing.

Having trouble with your fundraising page? Not working as you expected?

If you need some help troubleshooting an issue on your Big Social page, please send an email to Trisha Starostina at trisha [at] cfccanada [dot] ca or give her a call at  416 531 8826 ext 303. When reporting your issue, please make note of the operating system (iOS, Windows, Android) and the web browser you were using.