Food insecurity and food waste are two problems that, unfortunately, go hand-in-hand. Due to strict policies around aesthetics, expiration and best-before dates, food suppliers are left wasting huge amounts of perfectly edible food while one in seven Canadians report being food insecure. But, as the saying goes, not all heroes wear capes.

Meet our friends at Food Stash Foundation who are working hard to provide accessible food to those facing food insecurity while simultaneously saving the world from food waste. 

Food Stash Foundation is a Vancouver-based registered charity that keeps good, surplus food from going to waste through a variety of community programs. They rescue food from grocery stores, wholesalers and farms and distribute it to those who need it most. About three-quarters of the rescued food is taken to their Community Partners to support hot meal, market and food hamper programs. The remainder is brought back to their warehouse to support their in-house programs like their Rescued Food Market and Rescued Food Boxes.

Bridging the Gap Between Food Waste and Food Insecurity

We love what they are doing so much, we had to get involved. Recently, a group of Trendi misfits volunteered at Food Stash and got to sit down with Anna Gray, their Communication Coordinator, as part of our Trendi Talks series. We were shocked to see that most of the produce was still in perfect condition, a sight that Anna said was common.

Anna tells us, “every time our volunteers show up, they say, ‘I can’t believe how much food there is’. Then you see the lineup at the market and you’re like, ‘I can’t believe how many people need this service.’ And we’re just one small business or charity that in Vancouver, there’s so many places like us.”

This put the full amount of wasted food and food insecurity within our own community into perspective for us. Food Stash is one of many local places you can donate excess food and their operation alone saves more than 70,000 lbs of food per month!

Ultimately, Food Stash’s goal is to bridge the gap between wasted food and food insecurity.

“We want to be a step towards you getting your feet back on the ground and getting yourself set up for the future,” Anna said. “And if we can help you out by supplying some food, maybe not even your whole grocery shop, but just supplementing a little bit of that. That’s what we want to be here for. The whole point is to create a community that’s helping feed others who need the help.”

Get Involved With Change

This fall, Food Stash has teamed up with other food-focused organisations in British Columbia to kickstart the #votefoodsecurity campaign prior to the BC General Elections. This initiative focuses on fostering conversations around what food security could look like in the province, with the goal to encourage voters and policymakers to prioritise solutions that tackle the growing rate of food insecurity. Choosing a candidate that recognizes food security as a priority policy issue is the most direct way for you to influence your local government to build a more food-secure BC.

Supporting our community while saving the world from food waste is Trendi’s mission and we love that we get to do it alongside Food Waste Heroes like Anna and everyone at Food Stash Foundation. We can’t wait to see how far these heroes go!

If you’re looking to get involved with Food Stash by donating or volunteering, you can find all the information here.

Article written by:

Chloe Almeida, Marketing Coordinator

Chloe has always been interested in the “how” and “why” that create our social, cultural, and physical environment. With a background in health sciences, she is committed to spreading awareness and solving issues that affect public health and wellness.