More than 35.5 million tons of food are thrown away each year in Canada, but a group in Vancouver hopes to divert some of it to help people who are food insecure.
The Food Stash Foundation opens its doors to the Saved Food Market for the first time today.
It will allow patrons to shop and pay what they want, which means people can choose whether they want to donate money to help keep the market running.
Anna Stash, communications coordinator with the Food Station Foundation, says the market allows people the dignity to make their own decisions.
“This gives you autonomy to choose what you want, make your own bag, have as little or as much as you want. There is no discussion about payment. You also have the dignity to choose whether you also want to pay, ” she said.
The fund collects surplus products from grocery stores in Metro Vancouver that would otherwise have been thrown in the trash.
The charity saves more than 30,000 kilos of food every month and the market is just one way to bridge the gap to get the food to people who need it.
Gray says that the saved products are of high quality – for example, there may be a small bruise that can be easily cut off before eating.
“We have to change the way we look at it because there is so much food waste in a country where one in six children goes hungry,” she said. “We could solve the problem with the food we waste.”
Part of the foundation’s work includes a lunchbox program that supplies surplus products to families in need, but as demand grew, Gray said they came on the market as a way to reach more people in need.
“We have definitely seen an increase in people trying to sign up for our boxes [during the pandemic] “and we have only a limited capacity on how many people we can serve with our member boxes, so we hope the market also complements that and offers an easier way for people to come in and get the food we all deserve,” she said. .
The market will complement the foundation’s new communal refrigerator, which sits in front of the building and is filled with food that is available to people at all times.
The market officially opened at 15:30 on 340 West 2nd Ave. in Vancouver.
On the coast6:43Saved food market