Second Harvest celebrates five years of support from the Walmart Foundation

(Toronto – July 5, 2021) Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue organization, is entering its fifth year of partnership with the Walmart Foundation. The support of the Walmart Foundation has enabled Second Harvest to conduct world-first research into food loss and waste, to develop and pilot its Food Rescue App, and then to expand the app across Canada when COVID-19 hit to give non-profits like meal programs, shelters and food banks access to emergency food relief for their communities.

The Walmart Foundation funded the development of Second Harvest’s food rescue web app in 2017. The free app is designed so that any kind of food business with unsold food can seamlessly donate it to non-profits in their area who use food in their programs. By the autumn of 2018, the app was launched across Ontario; a rollout in British Columbia followed in June 2019.

When the pandemic hit, support from the Walmart Foundation enabled the national launch and an update of the food rescue web app to support emergency food relief across Canada – both completed within a month. The updated app was also able to become a funding portal for non-profits to apply for emergency federal funding.

Support from the Walmart Foundation also funded The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste report, world-first research that uses primary data from the Canadian food supply chain to identify the extent of food loss and waste. Second Harvest’s research revealed that, in Canada, nearly 60 per cent of food produced is lost or wasted every year, including 11.2 million metric tonnes of potentially rescuable, edible food that is also lost to landfill.

When food ends up in landfill, it generates 56.5 million metric tonnes of CO2e emissions every year. While this good, healthy food is lost, 1 in 7 Canadian families struggles to put food on the table – a number exacerbated by the pandemic.

“Over the course of our partnership, Walmart Foundation’s support of our food rescue tech and our food waste research has helped us recover millions of pounds of food,” said Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest. “The Foundation’s championing of our research also enables us provide the data and tools to help food businesses from farm to retail measure and manage their surplus food for the good of people and the planet. We thank the Walmart Foundation for their vision and for their investment in food rescue.”

“Second Harvest’s work in food recovery and food access has been vital in affecting positive change in communities across Canada,” said Julie Gehrki, Vice President of Philanthropy at Walmart.org. “They have grown so much over these last five years through innovation and leadership in food rescue, and we’re proud to support them.”

About Second Harvest:

Second Harvest is the largest food rescue organization in Canada and a global thought leader in food recovery. Working across the supply chain – from farm to retail – we capture surplus perishable food before it ends up in landfill negatively impacting our environment. The Second Harvest Food Rescue App connects businesses with surplus food to local non-profits, ensuring good food gets to people. With the global pandemic, Second Harvest is leading the Food Rescue Canadian Alliance (FRCA), bringing together government, industry, Indigenous communities and the non-profit sector to ensure food reaches the most vulnerable members of our communities, from coast to coast to coast. Learn more at https://secondharvest.ca/.

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, Walmart.org works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 24 countries, employs more than 2.3 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or connect on Twitter @Walmartorg.

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For more information or to schedule an interview:

Lori Nikkel, CEO, Second Harvest
E: LoriN@SecondHarvest.ca 
M: 647-382-0159