Perishable Food Program has received, handled, sorted and shared more than 2.2 million pounds of food since its inception. (Special to The News)

Perishable Food Program has received, handled, sorted and shared more than 2.2 million pounds of food since its inception. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge food bank raising money for school meal program

Funds for Perishable Food Recovery Program also needed

The food bank in Maple Ridge needs help raising funds for two programs as families prepare for back-to-school in September.

Friends In Need Food Bank, (FINFB), is actively fundraising for the 2021/2022 School Meal and Snack Program and also the Perishable Food Recovery Program – which just reached its two year mark in June.

Since its inception, the Perishable Food Program has received, handled, sorted and shared more than 2.2 million pounds of food from participating stores including: Save On Foods; No Frills; and Walmart. Half of that food was distributed to clients of the food bank in addition to community agencies and organizations dealing with food insecurity such as the Salvation Army, the Alouette Addictions Services, Ridge Meadows Seniors Centre, Rain City Housing, Coast Mental Health, Hope for Freedom and many churches providing community meal services.

Another 40 per cent was distributed to farmers for fresh farm feed and nine per cent was composted.

“This can also be calculated to 866,080 meals donated with a charity value of $2,961,994 and a savings of 1,95,440 in CO2 emissions,” explained Mary Robson, executive director of the FINFB.

“This is not a revenue producing venture and it does cost money to maintain the facility and operation. We are looking for sponsors and donors to help sustain this program because it is the right thing to do,” she added, noting that the bottom line here is more than 2,270,111 lbs of food have been diverted from the landfills and repurposed to benefit those in need.

ALSO READ: New manager at Friends in Need Food Bank

“This past year we received funding from Walmart Foundation and Food Banks Canada,’ noted Robson. Without this support, she continued, the Perishable Food Recovery Program would not exist in the community.

Plans are also well under way for this year’s BC Thanksgiving Food Drive. Last year a record of 15,680 lbs was collected from donors across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

READ MORE: Friends in Need Food Bank celebrates successful launch of school meal program

Since 2011 the event has collected more than 83,897 lbs.

“This year Save On Foods is joining the food drive which will be on Saturday September 25 with the canvas to deliver donation bags happening the week prior. Sorting will again be done at the Church of Latter-Day Saints on 207th Street,” said Robson.


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Food is recorded for the Perishable Food Program. (Special to The News)

Food is recorded for the Perishable Food Program. (Special to The News)