Food gets thrown out on a daily basis. While many of these do deserve to go to the trash, some establishments do it for quality control. Rather than throwing away perfectly good food, why not give it to people who actually need it?
People have been aware of what’s been happening to unwanted food and produce. While they do know, no one really acted on it. That is, until a foundation recognized the need to provide for the less fortunate one with a new project they have.
A new supermarket in Vancouver is finally opening. Their goal is to specifically to get unwanted food and produce into those who need or want it the most. This movement spares the goods from being dumped into the landfill as it rots away on its own.
The mastermind behind this is the Food Stash Foundation. They have created the “Rescued Food Market” and it’s finally opening its doors on October 1st. The establishment is located on 340 West 2nd Avenue. It’s open for three hours every Friday, the surplus produce and food they have will be made available to anyone. Everyone is welcome. Whether the customers are food insecure, looking to reduce their environmental impact, or simply need to cut down on grocery costs, they operate on a “pay what you feel” rather than “what you can” basis. The term was coined to ensure there’s a moral restriction to getting the food out the door and onto dinner tables all over the Vancouver area. Shoppers are encouraged to practice environmentally friendly acts by bringing their own bags. For those who forget, the grocery also offers reusable totes. This, however, is limited at one per person.
Getting this plan in place was both the major challenge and the goal. Food Stash Foundation’s executive Carla Pellegrini talked to GNN about the facts. She said that 58 percent of all food produced in the country turns to waste. The UN also reports that household food waste in the Great White North is 20 kilograms more per capita than the United States alone. This figure rivals poorer nations that have limited to no access to refrigeration. More importantly, these poorer countries also have to deal with tropical heat and the surrounding humidity.
“There’s food waste at every level [of the supply-chain], whether it’s over-ordering, cancelled orders, the shape of the produce isn’t meeting the customer expectations, or approaching best-before dates,” said Pellegrini. She assumed the position of director in the company last July. She further stated, “I was really, really surprised by how much food waste there is, how much food insecurity there is in Vancouver.”
By All Necessary Means
The Food Stash Foundation works at collecting or gathering food that come from wholesalers, grocers, and farms. They then bring it to those organizations that aim to fight food waste and food insecurity. Before this happened, all the unwanted food that was left would packed into boxes and delivered to food insecure families for a very minimal price. But bringing in a total of 70,000 pounds of food per month meant they needed more ways to throw it away or get rid of it. This is where the Rescued Food Market comes into play.
Pellegrini said, “85 percent of that 70,000 pounds of food doesn’t even make it back to our warehouse, it goes right back out the same day with our drivers to other organizations.” She also explained, “We even end up with surplus at the end of our weekly operations; after the organizations and the boxes, we still sometimes have surplus, so we’re interested in offloading that.”
Moreover, a piece of B.C. legislation releases the donators involved from the liability of risks posed by donating food that’s past its due date. Hence, the legislation has actually pushed and encouraged more donations also of packaged food and not only of the usual produce. In reality, large amounts of CO2 are generated each year from all corners of the globe from food decaying in landfills. This new means of rescuing food means that not only are we saving money, we’re saving the planet as well.
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