Salvation Army Helps Combat Waste and Improve Access to Fresh Food

Salvation Army Helps Combat Waste and Improve Access to Fresh Food
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Food waste in Canada is at record levels and The Salvation Army in London, Ont., is participating in a food coalition that rescues high-quality fresh food and redistributes it to people in need.

“According to the London Poverty Research Centre, 26,000 people in London can’t afford to eat a sufficient, safe and nutritious diet on a regular basis,” says Nancy Kerr of The Salvation Army. “Local agencies are raising awareness about food waste and that there is use for food that isn’t used.”

The coalition of over 30 organizations officially launched in mid-October with the unveiling of a new refrigerated food truck. Volunteers pick up food from grocery stores that would otherwise have been thrown out, but is still good to eat, and redistribute the food to coalition members.

“The Salvation Army Centre of Hope, who is a member of the coalition, has been chosen as the central food distribution centre,” says Kerr.

The distribution centre will be used by community agencies from many neighbourhoods. They in turn will share the fresh produce with the people they serve. The program is a meaningful way to strengthen families and communities.

Our goal is to give all people access to fresh food in the city, making the healthy choice the easy choice,” says Kerr. “Clients are thrilled when they receive fresh food. We recently gave a five-year- old child an apple and he stared intently at it because he’d never eaten one before.”

The Salvation Army’s food bank at the Centre of Hope serves 1,500 households every month. Last year, 40,000 people received food from the food bank. Food rescue alone will not end hunger or solve food waste. However, the program is a step in the right direction to bring attention to these critical issues.