It is estimated that seven million Canadians have struggled with food insecurity over the last two years and that one in six of those in British Columbia are children. Yet, despite this, Canada will see as much as 58% of the food that is produced go to waste.
Food Stash Foundation, a Vancouver-based charity, tackles food waste and mitigates its environmental impacts while creating an opportunity to provide for those in need. Each month their drivers rescue 85,000 pounds of surplus food which was not sold due to issues like over-stocking, lack of storage or aesthetics (like a bruise on an apple). The food is then taken to their warehouse, sorted and stored in coolers that volunteer drivers then distribute to the 35 local partnered nonprofits that run hot meal, market or food hamper programs.
Recently, Food Stash moved to a new warehouse located near Concert Properties' development, The Creek, in Southeast False Creek, which required the installation of a new $130,000 cold storage system. While the system was kindly provided on loan, Food Stash needs to pay off this essential equipment by year end.
One of Concert Properties’ founding principles is to give back to the communities where we work, and this presented a wonderful opportunity to support an important local cause. To do our part to help, Concert Properties donated $15,000 – and through outreach to media, we also helped generate an additional $8,000 in individual donations.
“We’re pleased to support Food Stash in their efforts to both reduce food waste and feed those in need,” says John Dooling, Chief Financial Officer at Concert Properties. “Food waste is a structural problem and we are thrilled to support an organization on the ground creating real solutions.”
Food Stash also runs its own programming which includes delivery of a weekly box of healthy perishables to low or no-income individuals; a weekly by-donation rescued food market where anyone is welcome to shop around and pay what they can; and community fridges placed in public areas throughout the community where people are welcome to take what they need – any time, day or night.
To date, Food Stash has raised $75,000 in donations toward their new cold storage system. While they are getting closer to their goal, support on their donations page is welcomed as they work toward raising the remaining $55,000.
"Being forced to move warehouses came with a very large, and unbudgeted, capital expense,” says Carla Pellegrini, Food Stash’s Executive Director. “We are so grateful for Concert Properties’ generous support to help us pay for the new cold storage. This new infrastructure will help ensure that, for many years to come, we can continue to keep perfectly good food out of the landfill and serve thousands of community members with dignified food access each week."