Over 210,000 kg of food waste saved from North Okanagan landfills

Food waste saved from trash

Chelsey Mutter

An organization aimed at reducing food waste has been given a grant to continue operating in the North Okanagan.

FoodMesh has received a ReThink Grant for $30,000 from the Regional District of North Okanagan. It’s the second year the Vancouver-based organization received the grant to operate in the area.

The organization takes food waste otherwise destined for the landfill and gives it to organizations that can still use it, for example items safe for human consumption are given to charities. Diana Scott, the program's lead, says the program has diverted a lot of food waste.

“The total volume of food that we've been able to redirect from the landfill to higher bestend uses, which is mainly charities or farmers, is 210,000 kilograms,” said Scott.

Currently, there’s 69 members in the North Okanagan network and FoodMesh is looking to grow that in the program’s second year. The groups is specifically targeting growers and manufacturers this year, rather than retailers which the network has a lot of.

There’s no cost to join the program – it’s all covered by the ReThink grant.

“Whether they have excess food waste on a regular basis, or just on a one time basis, we're here to support those needs and connect that food with an organization that can use the food and keep it out of the landfill,” said Scott.

A list of everyone involved in the program can be found online here.

People looking to access the food will need to go directly to the charities.

Scott says recent reports suggest 1 in 4 Canadians are food insecure, with the North Okanagan being no exception. Something the organization helps tackle through connecting food waste to charities.

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