August 13th, 2020
TORONTO, Aug. 13, 2020 - Second Harvest and the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) have been approved for $22 million to purchase and redistribute perishable food to communities across Canada, 10 per cent or more of which will be directed to northern communities.
Food that would otherwise be at risk of going to waste during the ongoing pandemic will be matched and distributed to local charities and non-profits across the country, such as shelters, community groups and meal programs, who help feed Canadians who need it most. The acquired food – including produce, eggs, meat and seafood – is being made available as early as this week through FoodRescue.ca, a digital platform and mobile app created by Second Harvest to connect community groups with food resources.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our national systems of food production and distribution. With so many restaurants and food services shut down for months, Canadian farmers and food producers have been experiencing unprecedented surpluses of goods,” said Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest. “At the same time, more Canadians than ever are facing food insecurity, many wondering for the first time where their next meal might come from.”
This initiative would not have been possible without the generous $50 million contribution from the Government of Canada made to various food rescue organizations through the Surplus Food Rescue Program.
“Canadian farmers, ranchers and fishers don’t produce some of the best food in the world to let it go to waste,” said Ron Lemaire, CPMA President. “We know many communities are facing a change in demand for food services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When so many people are worrying about feeding and supporting their families, we can’t afford to let good, healthy food produced by Canadians go to landfills.”
“This is a win-win. Not only are we helping producers who cannot sell their goods to restaurants, but we are also aiding Canadians that have had to seek help from food banks. These eight impressive partnerships between food businesses and not-for-profit organizations, target those food commodities that had significant and urgent surpluses, making a difference both at the level of the producer and the food bank, from coast-to-coast-to-coast,” added Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
As Canada’s largest food rescue organization, Second Harvest has national resources and networks in place to recover perishable food from the supply chain and provide it to the charities and non-profits that redistribute within their communities to those who are hungry or food insecure.
Community groups of all kinds facing increased demand for food services and support should visit FoodRescue.ca, where they can complete a simple application to be connected to potential food donors in their communities.
Organizations with a food surplus should also visit FoodRescue.ca to be connected with local community groups in need and avoid needless waste during this time of great need. Together we can work to ensure that no Canadian is left behind.
About Second Harvest
Second Harvest is the largest food rescue organization in Canada and a global thought leader on food recovery. Working across the supply chain – from farm to retail – we capture surplus food before it ends up in landfill and has a negative environmental impact. Since 1985, Second Harvest has redirected more than 172 million pounds of food and prevented over 262 million pounds of greenhouse gas equivalents from entering our atmosphere. Supported by hundreds of corporations, foundations, and the community at large, Second Harvest rescues and delivers enough food to provide over 50,000 meals every day, benefiting a growing network of over 1,500 social service organizations across Canada. Second Harvest also developed FoodRescue.ca, a free online platform that directly connects businesses with surplus, unsold food to local organizations to positively impact our environment and ensure good food gets to people who can use it. With the global pandemic, Second Harvest is leading the Food Rescue Canadian Alliance (FRCA), that brings together government, private and non-profit sectors to ensure food reaches the most vulnerable members of our communities, from coast to coast to coast. To learn more, visit www.SecondHarvest.ca.
About the Canadian Produce Marketing Association
Based in Ottawa, Ontario, CPMA is a not-for-profit organization that represents a diverse membership made up of every segment of the produce industry supply chain who are responsible for 90% of the fresh fruit and vegetable sales in Canada. CPMA is fortunate to represent a sector that is both a significant economic driver for communities and that also improves the health and productivity of Canadians. For more information about CPMA, please visit www.cpma.ca.
For more information, please contact:
Second Harvest, Director of Marketing and Communications
CPMA, Manager of Communications