Advertisement

London Food Coalition tackles food insecurity and waste

Ark Aid Mission executive director Doug Whitelaw, a founding partner of the coalition, stands in front of a new truck that will be used to help distribute food.
Ark Aid Mission executive director Doug Whitelaw, a founding partner of the coalition, stands in front of a new truck that will be used to help distribute food. London Food Coalition

The London Food Coalition is hoping to reduce the amount of food waste in Canada, while also helping those in need.

READ MORE: Seniors fastest-growing segment of London Food Bank users

The coalition of over 30 local organizations officially launched today with an unveiling of a new food distribution truck.

Volunteers pick up food from grocery stores that would otherwise have been thrown out but is still good to eat and then re-distributes the food to coalition members.

“Canada has about $31 billion of food waste and if you look at the numbers more closely it’s about $107 billion so what we’re trying to do is minimize that waste down,” communications director Miriam Hamou told AM980.

“We’ve seen other cities have been successful in doing it and we’re kind of modelling ourselves on other cities as well.”

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: 1-click groceries? How Amazon will likely change the way we buy food

Roughly $50,000 worth of food is diverted on a monthly basis. Coalition members pay between $75 and $375 a month depending on how many people they serve a week. So far, the Women’s Community House saved roughly $2,500 in two months and St. Paul’s Cathedral was able to organize a meal to feed 65 people for a total out-of-pocket cost of $5.

“We’re just looking to deliver as much food as we can. So if you know of organizations that are looking to throw away good food — not food that is rotten, obviously — let us know; give us a call.”

The coalition already has plans to expand, hoping to add organizations in Middlesex County and local aboriginal communities within the next year.

READ MORE: Price of meat to jump 7-9 per cent in Canada in 2017: report

As of Oct. 13, the London Food Coalition consisted of:

  • Meals on Wheels London
  • Ark Aid Street Mission
  • London InterCommunity Health Centre
  • London Community Chaplaincy
  • Glen Carin Neighbourhood Resource Centre
  • Life Resource Centre/North Park Church
  • Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre
  • Salvation Army – Centre of Hope
  • The Boys’ and Girls’ Club
  • Teen Challenge Farm
  • ELUCO
  • St. Jude’s Anglican
  • ReHarvest
  • Youth for Christ
  • The Meeting House
  • St. Vincent de Paul – St. Andrews
  • My Sisters Place
  • The Sanctuary
  • St. Paul’s Social Services
  • Unit Project
  • Trinity United Church
  • Valleyview Mennonite Church
  • Women’s Community House
  • New St. James – Presbyterian Church
  • Good News Church
  • Life*Spin
  • LUSO Community Services
  • Beth Emmanuel Church/Urban Haven
  • Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • St. Michael’s Parish