IGA helps FoodMesh program feed the hungry in the Okanagan

Food program feeds hungry

IGA is helping to fight hunger in the Okanagan by supporting more than 220 charities that are distributing healthy fresh food to people facing food insecurity, including school children.

The program is called FoodMesh which has helped IGA and Fresh St. Market stores donate 3.5 million meals since the partnership started in 2020.

“I’m beyond proud of our store management teams for their diligence going department by department to ensure surplus healthy foods like fruit and vegetables are not being thrown out and wasted and that we can quickly and efficiently get these foods directly to people who need it,” said Gary Sorenson, president and CEO, Georgia Main Food Group.

“We have more than 220 charities who are distributing food to people in British Columbia thanks to this important part of our store’s food operations and our partnership with FoodMesh.”

The food donations consist of a wide variety of fresh produce, dairy, meat, seafood, and bakery items.

“More than half of the food produced in Canada goes to waste. These staggering statistics highlights the deep flaws in Canada’s food system. However, in this landscape, Georgia Main has never wavered from its commitment to reducing food waste across its stores,” said Jessica Regan, CEO and co-founder of FoodMesh.

A variety of local charities including food banks in the Okanagan, Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, and other regions of British Columbia pick up and distribute the stores’ food donations.

“The benefits of Georgia Main’s work extend beyond providing hunger-relief organizations with a regular supply of nutritious food donations. In keeping its unsold food out of waste streams, Georgia Main has also averted over five million KG of C02e emissions from entering the atmosphere. We are extremely proud of this partnership and hope other retailers take note of the example they are setting for the industry,” Regan says.

IGA stores get food pick-ups every weekday from local charities, including:

  • IGA Penticton – Penticton Soupateria
  • IGA Summerland – Summerland Foodbank and Penticton Soupateria
  • IGA Peachland – Peachland Food Bank
  • 2 IGA Kelowna stores – Central Okanagan Food Bank

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