Every Thursday, from 3 till 5:30 p.m., Food Stash Foundation hosts a "rescued food" market in a warehouse just off Main Street near Olympic Village and Mount Pleasant to promote circular zero waste food economies.
Much like a zero-waste grocery store, Food Stash stocks the market with surplus perishables from farms, grocers and wholesalers that would have otherwise been thrown out. Overstocking, cancelled orders, aesthetic standards, and best-before dates all contribute to food being discarded before its time.
Whole Foods, Fresh Street Market, Save On Foods, IGA, and Spud.ca are all food donors and 80 per cent of what is gathered by Food Stash every day is divvied up between other non-profits and community partners that run food security initiatives. The other 20 per cent goes to the rescued food market and food box program.
Visitors to the market are welcome regardless of socio-economic status and are not required to prove that they are in need. Individuals are limited to one tote bag per person and after selecting what they want from the available stock can choose how much they want to donate in return either with cash, an online donation link or e-transfer.
Food Stash is a registered charity that gathers over 80,000 pounds of food each month and was founded by a Vancouver teacher in 2016 to mitigate food waste and help a few families in need. It has since grown into an organization that aids 30+ other charities and runs several programs of its own.
Recently the organization moved into a new warehouse at 290 E1st Ave off Main Street that required installing a $130,000 cold storage system which is currently on loan. They need to raise $70,000 by the end of 2022 in order to pay off the equipment which is essential for storing the food that also serves a community fridge and a rescued food box delivery program as well as the market.
So far, Food Stash has received a $15,000 donation from Concert Properties towards the outstanding balance but they are asking the public, especially corporate donors, to give if they're able.