As a community leader in food issues, the Kawartha Lakes Food Source is always looking for innovative ways to build and strengthen food security within the City of Kawartha Lakes. Today, Heather Kirby, General Manager of the Kawartha Lakes Food Source, announced the kick-off of a new initiative in Lindsay which will address the avoidable crisis of food loss and waste at a local level, with a dual mission of hunger relief and environmental protection.
“The Kawartha Lakes Food Source recognizes
that we need to change the way food is valued throughout production,
processing, distribution, retail, and at home”, says Heather Kirby. “Food waste
accounts for nearly 60% of the industry’s environmental footprint, and most of
it is completely avoidable”.
Avoidable food loss and waste refers to any
loss or waste which is unplanned or unexpected, such as food that does not meet
aesthetic criteria, surplus production from incorrect demand forecasting,
processing inefficiencies, confusion about date coding, and so on.
Across Canada 58% of all food produced is
lost or wasted. Of this 58%, 32% could be rescued, which is equal to 11.2
million metric tonnes per year. 
At the same time, 4 million Canadians, 10,182 of which live within the City of
Kawartha Lakes, struggle to access sufficient, safe, and nutritious food which
meets their preferences for an active lifestyle.
The gap between these issues presents an opportunity for food businesses to
come together with social service agencies to divert perfectly edible food from
landfills in order to meet the immediate needs of community members.
To begin developing the connections between food businesses and social service agencies the Kawartha Lakes Food Source has partnered with Second Harvest and Value Chain Management International to introduce FoodRescue.ca to the City of Kawartha Lakes. The project is made possible by a $1.8 million-dollar investment from the Walmart Foundation for the study and acceleration of food rescue across Canada.
FoodRescue.ca is a free and easy-to-use online platform which connects any type of food business which would like to donate surplus food to any registered charity or non-profit organization that can make use of it. Food businesses and non-profits register online and agree to abide by safe food handling guidelines. When a business has surplus food available for donation, they create a post on FoodRescue.ca indicating the type, amount, and when it is available for pickup. A notification of the available donation is sent out to all non-profits registered with the capacity to retrieve and store it, and an interested organization can claim the donation and go to the donor for pickup.
“There are many direct benefits to both
donors and rescuers, including reduced tipping fees for waste, positive
community connections, and a metric system which shows the amount of food
redirected, number of meals provided, and green house gas emissions averted”
said Jessica Topfer, the FoodRescue.ca Coordinator at the Kawartha Lakes Food
Local food businesses and social service
agencies interested in registering to be donors and rescuers can contact
Jessica Topfer at (705) 341-5088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Nikkel, L., Maguire, M., Gooch, M., Bucknell, D., LaPlain, D.,
Dent, B., Whitehead, P., Felfel, A. (2019). The
Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste: The Roadmap. Second Harvest and Value Chain
Management International; Ontario, Canada.https://secondharvest.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Avoidable-Crisis-of-Food-Waste-The-Roadmap-by-Second-Harvest-and-VCMI.pdf
. In Focus: Healthy Eating,
Physical Activity and Healthy Weights. Ontario, Canada:Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, 2012. http://www.hkpr.on.ca/Portals/0/PDF%20Files/PDF%20-%20Epi/HKPRDSB%20in%20Focus%20rev%2009%2019.pdf