Canada's largest food-rescue organization Second Harvest is undertaking the first national study of food programs offered by public sector and community service organizations via a $1.8 million grant from the Walmart Foundation.
Second Harvest CEO Lori Nikkel made the announcement in Montréal at Americana, a three-day international environmental forum. Nikkel was joined by Cyrille Ballereau, vice president of regional operations for Walmart Canada.
Second Harvest again will partner with Value Chain Management International, a leader in food industry research, to map food programs across Canada. Their recent research collaboration, “The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste,” reported that 11 million metric tonnes of potentially rescuable food is lost or wasted across the food chain each year. This new study will determine the location and capacity of current food programs, as well as identify gaps in existing food-rescue networks.
The funding from the Walmart Foundation will be used to accelerate food recovery in varying community sizes, using FoodRescue.ca, Second Harvest's online platform for donating food. FoodRescue.ca is a matchmaking tool that connects a wide range of charities, nonprofit organizations and schools with all types of food donors, including multinational manufacturers and retailers, chain and independent restaurants, food processors and farms.
"It has been incredible to see the social and environmental benefits that FoodRescue.ca brings to communities," said Nikkel in a statement. "Our nonprofit partners tell us that access to good food has positive impacts for the people they assist and also helps their operating budgets go further, so they can do more with their programs. Plus, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced when healthy food is rescued instead of going to landfill. That's a win for all of us."
"We remain committed to being part of the solution on the important issue of food waste in Canada," said Eileen Hyde, director of strategic initiatives for The Walmart Foundation, in a statement. "Today's announcement will build upon our efforts to help accelerate momentum on improving food recovery in Canada."
In addition, Second Harvest will use some of this new funding to enhance FoodRescue.ca with a transportation module that will allow volunteers and community support groups to pick up donated food and deliver to people in need. This feature is designed to help get nutritious food to those who need it while reducing the impact food waste has on the environment.