Community Connections to collaborate on food waste diversion program

Community Connections is among several agencies across the province that will help develop a manual to assist food banks to start food waste diversion programs. Community Connections has run a food recovery program since 2016.

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Community Connections began a Food Recovery Program in March 2016 and has since seen over 90,000 lbs of food diverted from the landfill. Image: Community Connections (Revelstoke Society) photo.

Community Connections (Revelstoke) Society will be working with Food Banks BC to help develop a food waste diversion program for food banks across the province.

Jenna Fraser, Community Food & Outreach Coordinator with Community Connections will collaborate with other food recovery agencies, including Kamloops and Nanaimo Food Banks. The agencies will work to create a manual that will assist food banks in accessing the resources needed to start up food waste diversion programs.

The BC Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation is providing $10 million to the Food Banks BC association to assist with the implementation of food recovery programs by ensuring proper transportation and refrigeration of perishable food items including: fresh produce, dairy and meat.

Food Banks BC will invest $6.5 million for transportation of perishable items from grocery stores, restaurants, and farms. An additional $3.5 million will be invested for refrigeration needs at food bank facilities to increase nutritious food offered to families in need.

“The start-up of food recovery programs through Food Banks BC supports B.C.’s goal to reduce barriers and provide better access to fresh food for families in need,” Fraser wrote in a media statement.

Community Connections began a Food Recovery Program in March 2016 and has since seen over 90,000 lbs of food diverted from the landfill. Although the program has proven successful in Revelstoke, there are barriers to recovering perishable foods including refrigeration and storage needs which can be expensive to implement. The program has partnered with five regular donors and a number of small-scale donors. The program serves more than 15 agencies including the women’s shelter, School District 19, seniors’ group homes and many others.

What are your thoughts on food waste diversion and food recovery here in Revelstoke? Have you used the Food Recovery Program here in Revelstoke? What has it meant for you and your family? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

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Melissa Jameson is the civic affairs reporter for the Revelstoke Mountaineer. She handles the newsy side of goings on about Revelstoke. Got a news tip? Feel free to contact Melissa at [email protected]