Second Harvest launches Canada-wide Task Force to guarantee food supply to vulnerable Canadians

(Toronto – March 18, 2020) Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue organization, announced today the launch of the Food Rescue Canadian Alliance (FRCA) Task Force, a national network that will support food redistribution efforts across the supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Task Force will work to make food available to organizations and reach populations that are in acute need. Led by Second Harvest, the Task Force consists of national leaders and includes collaboration between the food industry, non-profits, and government. Members include businesses like Loblaw Co. Ltd. and Sysco, and charities like Breakfast Club of Canada, Salvation Army and food banks.

“In times like these, vulnerable community members need our support the most,” said Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest. “With over 60,000 non-profit organizations in Canada supporting people, we must work together – there is no organization that can do this alone.”

Second Harvest recently completed a national mapping project in partnership with Value Chain Management International which identified over 60,000 Canadian organizations that provide food to vulnerable populations. The Task Force will work together to support tens of thousands of community food programs across the country who are struggling to access food for their program participants.

FoodRescue.ca is the tool that can manage this centralization of need and support. This free, easy-to-use donation platform connects businesses that have food to donate non-profit organizations. FoodRescue.ca is an accessible tool that can be mobilized immediately to support food recovery and distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. FoodRescue.ca can enable food donors and non-profits to coordinate donations with minimal interaction, supporting social/physical distancing.

“We want to make sure that food relief organizations across the country that stay open can provide critical, life-saving support to our most marginalized communities,” said Nikkel. “We need to ensure that the entire food supply chain can be plugged into a solution to benefit those in need. That solution is FoodRescue.ca.”

Nikkel added that collaborating can also identify available transportation and storage capacity and supplement it with necessary support with national food redistribution efforts.

“We are surveying both the non-profit and corporate sectors across the country to determine the logistics capacity available so we can coordinate where food donations can be transported and stored for efficient distribution.”