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Food loss and waste amounts to a major squandering of resources.
Globally, we throw out about 1.3 billion tons of food a year, or a third of all the food that we grow, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
A lot of this wastage happens at the retail level where large quantities of food are thrown out due to quality standards that emphasize appearance.
Since 2008, Yellowknife Food Rescue has been working to reduce food waste. From grocery stores and other sources the charity collects food that is at risk of being thrown out but is still safe to eat and gives it to the needy. Last year, the group recovered almost 150,000 kilograms of good, said Marg Henderson, a volunteer kitchen manager for Food Rescue.
Henderson said about 30 people process over 600 kilograms of food per day to keep Food Rescue in operation. The work can be physically demanding, she said. Flats of berries come in that need to be sorted; ripe tomatoes are pureed and preserved for soups or stews. All the food is weighed and sorted before it’s delivered to clients around the city.
“We really rely on our volunteers,” she said.
The food is given to charitable organizations that feed the needy, including the Salvation Army, the Yellowknife Women’s Society and meal programs at schools.
“You go into some of these places and see how excited people are to get this food … it’s been very worthwhile,” said Henderson. “There are a lot of people who find it difficult to make ends meet here and I think nutritious foods are one of the first things to go by the wayside when things get tight.”
Yellowknife Food Rescue’s AGM is coming up on May 7 at 7 p.m.
Location will be Northern United Place. There will be a few guest presentations, the year’s budget will be set, bylaws will be updated and there will be a president’s report.