Heron Emergency Food Centre commenced operations in June of 1987, utilizing space in the kitchen of the Multi-Service Centre Building at 1480 Heron Road. Four churches in the area founded the HEFC by hiring a part-time coordinator: St. Timothy's Presbyterian, Emmanuel United, St. Aidan's Anglican and St. Thomas the Apostle Anglican. Food was provided by the Ottawa Food Bank.
The following year saw a formal Board and incorporation as a non-for-profit. A grant of $10,700, was received through the Regional Municipality from ESAP (Emergency Shelter and Assistance Program) fund and HEFC began buying food to augment that provided by the Ottawa Food Bank. A first freezer was obtained from St. Timothy's Church. Additional grants were secured in the following years and HEFC began in earnest.