The Friends In Need Food Bank refrigerated van for the Perishable Food Recovery Program. (Contributed)

Almost 500,000 kgs of perishable food distributed from Maple Ridge food bank facility

Friends In Need Food Bank perishable food recovery facility opened its doors in June 2019

In one year the Friends In Need Food Bank’s perishable food recovery facility has received hundreds of thousands of kilograms of food that has been sorted and distributed to those in need in the community.

By the end of May, a total of 474,106 kilograms of perishable food – which would have otherwise gone to waste – was sorted and distributed from the facility that opened its doors in June 2019, said Friends In Need Food Bank executive director Mary Robson.

About 54 per cent of the food was distributed to clients of the Friends in Need Food Bank.

Local charities received more than 70,000 kg.

And, the balance, was distributed to local farmers who received about 32 per cent of it for farm feed and 13 per cent was used for compost. FoodMesh, a food exchange network that provides apps and services for charities and food businesses to divert surplus food from the landfill, calculates that 900,801 kg of carbon dioxide emissions was saved.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge salon challenges other stylists to give to the food bank

The perishable food recovery program (PFRP) was started in September 2017, to get surplus perishable foods available in the community to those relying on the food bank that services Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

The pilot project was kicked off with the Shoppers Drug Mart, at the corner of 224th Street and Dewdney Trunk Road, as the first test site. It was soon expanded to Meridian Meats, Thrifty Foods, and Walmart.

Save-On-Foods began donating to the program when the perishable food facility opened up last year and, with four stores in the community, it is now the main contributor.

“These companies are the driving force in the PFRP because they choose to give food – not fit for sale – a second chance instead of sending it to the landfills,” Robson said.

About 40 per cent of food in Canada ends up in the waste stream, noted Robson. Yet, she said, there is food still fit for human consumption.

READ MORE: Food bank protocols in place for clients, volunteer and staff in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Robson admits that when the facility opened, she, along with the Friends In Need Food Bank board of directors, had nightmares about how they would handle the anticipated volume of food.

“Our nightmares were replaced with badges of pride for what our staff and volunteers have accomplished in handling that volume of food, working seven days a week, every day of the year except Christmas,” she said.

Karen Osborne, manager of the perishable food recovery facility, is really happy that farmers are involved in the program, because, she said, it is providing financial relief to them and a natural diet for their animals that they can obtain at no cost.

Robson credited Food Banks B.C. and its award-winning guide, which was distributed in 2017 about how to set up a perishable food recovery program, along with numerous grants they received and community donors, as a key to the local program’s success.

FoodMesh CEO, Jessica Regan, congratulated the local food bank and grocers on their one-year milestone.

“We are truly delighted to support Friends in Need’s mission to get fresh food to those who need it,” she said.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Food Bankmaple ridgePitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Herd of deer camp out in Yennadon front yard

Four bucks and two does rested under the shrubs of a Maple Ridge home Friday

Pitt Meadows technology to help grow leafy greens in Okanagan

Cubic Farms sold 16 of its machines to a company in Armstrong, B.C.

Maple Ridge mom wants justice on two-year anniversary of daughter’s death

Megan Kinnee, 19, died July 13, 2018 after motorcycle crash in Abbotsford

Maple Ridge neighbourhood rallies together for Saturday garage sale

Event aimed to bring Albion residents together – but not too close – while the financially strapped

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Most Read