New web platform helps Kingston’s Loving Spoonful ‘rescue’ more food for charity
For just over a decade, Loving Spoonful, a Kingston-based charitable organization providing access to fresh food, has made it their mission to rescue food that would otherwise end up in the garbage and landfill.
By 2019, the program has grown by leaps and bounds. Loving Spoonful has in the neighbourhood of 50 routes this year, gathering food from grocery stores, farmer’s markets, restaurants and caterers.
The organization works with 25 to 30 donating businesses and distributes the food to 40 member agencies.
Pat Joslin, the food rescue coordinator for Loving Spoonful, says the amount of food they gather is staggering.
“We’re averaging around 140,000 to 150,000 pounds of food rescued a year, which is about 150,000 meals we’re able to provide our community,” Joslin said.
For the last year, the charitable organization has partnered with Second Harvest, another food rescue organization based out of Toronto, which has developed a web platform called Food Rescue that Joslin says directly links food donors with recipients.
Kingston and three other cities in Ontario have been using it in a pilot project.
“When a donor has food in surplus, they make a post online and it matches it with local agencies in the city telling them a time and place to come pick it up,” says Joslin.
During the one-year test, Joslin says there has been a noticeable increase in the food directed to charities instead of landfills.
“With food rescue implemented last year we’ve been able to increase that by 10,000 within Loving Spoonful,” Joslin said. “Another 10,000 pounds have gone and been picked up by local charitable organizations.”
The program, called Food Rescue, is now being rolled out across Ontario.
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