June 11, 2019 6:24 pm

New program connecting grocery store food waste with charities launches in B.C.

WATCH: Keeping edible food out of the landfill

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A Canadian online platform that diverts restaurant and grocery store food waste from the landfill has launched in British Columbia.

FoodRescue.ca, created by charity Second Harvest, began operations in Greater Toronto last October, and says since then it has diverted more than 225,000 kilograms of food from the trash.

READ MORE: Average London household throws out $600 worth of food every year, study says


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The program’s expansion to B.C. was the product of a $415,000 donation from the Loblaw group of companies.

The platform directly connects food-producing businesses with waste food to registered social service organizations, which get text or email alerts about what kind of donations are available.

Second Harvest CEO Lori Nikkel said the initiative won’t just help get nutritious food into the hands of B.C.’s most vulnerable, it will also help the country meet its environmental goals.

READ MORE: Program connects farmers and grocery stores to tackle food waste

“We have a huge problem with food loss and waste. We did a study last year, first of its kind, and we learned that 58 per cent of all food produced for Canadians is lost or wasted. We waste more food than we consume. And that’s a problem,” she said.

“When it goes into landfills, it creates methane gas. And methane gas is a direct contributor to climate change. In Canada, we are experiencing climate change at a faster rate than most other regions in the world.”

Foodrescue.ca claims by keeping food out of landfills, it has prevented the emission of more than a million kilograms of greenhouse gasses.

The initiative’s expansion to B.C. comes as other grocery chains look to reduce their food waste as well.

READ MORE: Okanagan program to reduce food waste, increase food security

Save-On-Foods said last week that in just six months, it had surpassed a 2025 goal of cutting its food waste in half.

The company has partnered with Food Banks BC, FoodMesh and Loop Resource in order to ensure that 86 of its locations are now diverting 100 per cent of their unsaleable, perishable food from landfills.

Save-On-Foods says it hopes to have another 35 stores hitting that 100 per cent mark by the end of the year.

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