Save-On-Foods has rolled out a new project that aims at reducing the amount of food being wasted on a daily basis.
Instead of disposing of perishable food like meat, dairy and produce, Save-On-Foods will now ship those items to food banks in the Central Okanagan.
“Feeding families, not landfills, is our No. 1 priority,” said Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones.
Organizers say this new partnership will now send around 2,500 kilograms of food daily to the Central Okanagan Food Bank.
The Central Okanagan Food Bank feeds roughly 4,000 people per month, with 33 per cent of them being children under the age of 15.
Five Save-On-Food stores in the Okanagan will be sending donations to the Central Okanagan Food Bank. Other Save-On-Stores across B.C. are also taking part in the project and will be sending perishables to their local food banks.
Food Banks B.C. says this partnership is essential to feeding hungry families in B.C.
“With close to 1.5 million metric tonnes of edible food wasted each year in B.C., and close to 100,000 individuals struggling to put food on the table, perishable food recovery with our partner, Save-On-Foods has been a true game-changer for food banks in B.C.,” said Food Banks B.C. executive director Laura Lansink.
“Now, fresh, healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and dairy are made available to every person at risk of hunger, rather than ending up as waste.”
A recent report done by Second Harvest says around 60 per cent of food produced in Canada is wasted annually. This equates to roughly $49 billion a year.
It is estimated that more than $500 million of food is wasted in B.C. every month.
Jones says the project is part of a company-wide goal to reduce food waste by 50 per cent by 2025.
“Today, we are pleased to announce that 100 per cent of our unsaleable food and perishable waste is being put to its best and highest use, here in our Kelowna-area stores,” said Jones.
According to Lansik, some food banks in B.C. were only able to give out food two times per month. Now she says, almost all food banks in B.C. are able to give out food six days a week.
“We thank Save-On-Foods for their forward thinking, progressive attitude about food reclamation,” said Central Okanagan Food Bank’s executive director Lenetta Parry.
“We believe this is the beginning of the end of food waste in Canada.”