Local Woman Turns Food Waste into Help for Families in Need

Woman stands in food bank holding bags of bagels
by British Columbia
Categories: Blog, Heroes

Nicole Knauf grew up in a household that just didn’t waste food; in fact, her and her siblings would joke that her dad would eat anything. As she grew older, she realized that throwing away food really was an unfortunate reality.

It became more obvious when Nicole began working at bakery as a teenager, when at the end of the day she would have to throw out dozens of day-old goodies.

“It hurt,” explains Nicole, recalling the helpless frustration she felt discarding perfectly good cinnamon rolls.

She even offered to drive the goods to the food bank herself, but was advised no, because of risk of providing expired food to people.

“A lot of people use the best before date as an expiry,” she said, explaining that since the passing of the Food Donation Encouragement Act, restaurants and stores are not liable for expired food that they donate.

The next day, Nicole saw a Columbian Basin Trust leaflet about a food recovery program in Revelstoke. Immediately, she went to the food bank in Fernie who came on board right away.

“It’s going to help so much more,” said Barbara Osbourne, the Community Ministries Worker with the Salvation Army Food Bank, explaining it will provide “for a healthier food choice for our clients.”

Currently, grocery stores provide non-perishable food to the charity but do not have agreements to provide fresh food. Knauf says in the summer, she’ll look to build partnerships with local farmers as well, to bring produce to the food bank.