May 17, 2019

Filling the bellies of Halton Region with fresh, local produce and saving $5M in food waste!

Filling the bellies of Halton Region with fresh, local produce and saving $5M in food waste!

What happens when a group of Emterra and Burlington Green employees come together? We sort potatoes, so we can feed people!

Food for Life is the largest food recovery program in Halton Region, Ontario; the region where Emterra Group’s head office is located. Food for Life, brings in fresh and nutritious food collected from retailers in the community to be shared with those in need. As an organization, Food for Life distributes about four million pounds of food a year, 12, 000 meals a week and of the food they distribute, 80 per cent of it is perishable.

“We have about 90 partners that share food with us in the area,” explains Laura Hickerson, Manager of Development and Stakeholder Relations with Food for Life. “About 80 per cent of that food is perishable, so it takes a lot of volunteers to sort through the food quickly and to make sure it’s okay for consumption.”

“The experience was really rewarding,” says Sajida Moledina, Emterra’s Payroll Coordinator. “The work we did that day helped to speed up the process of getting the food to those who need it and also, giving back to the community always feels great!”

Food is donated to Food for Life by local retailers big and small. “We know that there is food out there, so we go and find it,” explains Laura. “Then we have about 600 volunteers each week who come in and prepare it to be shipped out to those who need it.”

The food collected from retailers that otherwise would have gone to landfill is equivalent to a commercial value of over $5 million annually. By offering this program, Food for Life is providing fresh and nutritious food to those who otherwise might not be able to afford it. And, any food waste generated at Food for Life is composted at a local farm.

Working beside Emterra were members of BurlingtonGreen which is a local not-for-profit organization that works with the community to protect the environment and mitigate climate change to create a healthier and more environmentally responsible Burlington. Emterra and BurlingtonGreen have been working together on a number of community environmental initiatives.

 

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