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Russell the Russet #1

Happy Giving Tuesday, and welcome to Day One of Leftovers’ year-end journey into food rescue from the food’s perspective! Let’s give the floor to our potato protagonist, and learn more about food waste…

We begin our story at the grocery store, where Russell the Russet is deep in reflection…

I never expected I’d be the potato at the bottom of the pile. While the other potatoes from our harvest were picked out and put in customers’ bags to be part of marvelous meals, there I was in the dark, waiting.

You get a little bruised, at the bottom. A little sprouted. I wasn’t perfect anymore. Who was going to want me now?

Then I was being picked up, tossed in a box. Was this it? Was I about to end up in a cold, locked garbage bin outside with all of the wilted greens and moldy berries, destined to rot in a landfill?

Is this it? Will Russell rot?? Find out in our next exciting installment!

A quarter of all of the waste generated by the commercial sector in Canada is food (1). A 2019 report from Value Chain Management International and Second Harvest estimates that at least 30% of this food would still be good to eat (2). In Alberta and Manitoba, that means more than 250,000 tonnes of good food from restaurants, grocery stores, and cafeterias is getting thrown out per year. When that food goes to landfills, it produces methane and contributes significantly to global warming.

Food gets wasted for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is cost. When it’s easier and cheaper to put unsold food in the garbage bin, even good food gets thrown out. Imperfect or bruised produce, day-old bread, and meat, dairy, and packaged food nearing its best-before dates too often end up in landfills or being composted when they could have been eaten.

Through Rescue Food, Leftovers is trying to make keeping edible food out of the garbage as easy and cost-effective as possible for the front-line staff and management who make up our food donor partners. We know that no one wants good food to get wasted–including the people taking it off of the shelves.

(1) Environment and Climate Change Canada. (2020). National Waste Characterization Report: The Composition of Canadian Residual Municipal Solid Waste. Retrieved from https://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2020/eccc/en14/En14-405-2020-eng.pdf

(2) Gooch, M., Bucknell, D., LaPlain, D., Dent, B., Whitehead, P., Felfel, A., Nikkel, L., Maguire, M. (2019). The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste: Technical Report; Value Chain Management International and Second Harvest; Ontario, Canada. Retrieved from https://secondharvest.ca/research/the-avoidable-crisis-of-food-waste/

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COVID-19 Update

Hello Leftovers Partners and Volunteers,

Your commitment to reducing food waste and increasing food access in our community is so incredibly valued – THANK YOU!

Due to COVID-19, many businesses are temporarily shutting their doors and cancelling events. As a result, we have seen a significant change in the frequency and volume of donations. At the same time, access to food has never been more difficult for many members of our community. Whether it’s students who have been isolated from their only meals of the day, seniors who are at-risk every time they leave home, or the many who have recently lost their jobs due to this crisis, we are seeing an unprecedented need for access to food.

  • Please ensure that all donations are covered/wrapped.
  • Please wear a mask and wash your hands/use sanitizer frequently when handling food donations. Do not touch the food itself. Contact help@rescuefood.ca if you’d like a reuseable mask.
  • Practice no-contact drop offs at agencies (ensure that the food is in a safe/covered area).
  • Do not rescue food if you and/or someone that you have been in contact with is not feeling well, has travelled within 14 days, or been in contact with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus.

We are posting changes/cancellations to food donation routes on the app as they come in. All routes that are posted on the app are as up-to-date as possible. If a donor or agency tells you they’d like to cancel or change hours, please email this feedback to heidi@rescuefood.ca (Calgary), nicole@rescuefood.ca (Edmonton) or juliakraemer@rescuefood.ca (Winnipeg) so we can update the app.

If you have any questions at all, please email us at help@rescuefood.ca. Thank you so much for your help and willingness to be there for our community!

Kin Volunteer

We’re currently recruiting volunteers who want to help serve coffee and be a part of a fun new social initiative.

  • Volunteer shifts are 4 hours long
  • Shifts are either 7am-11am or 11am-3pm
  • 2 people are needed per shift, so sign up with your partner or a friend
  • You can volunteer as little or as much as you’d like
  • Sign-ups will be live on the Leftovers Rescue Food app soon

There will be a mandatory in-person training for all new Kin volunteers. This training will be brief, but will go over setup & tear down, food safety, POS terminal instruction and PWYW info.

If you’re interested in volunteering, please send an email to kin@rescuefood.ca expressing which shift and dates you’re interested in covering.

*Please note that all Kin volunteers need to be vaccinated as per YMCA and AHS Covid Policy.*

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Friday, September 30th

Today we are observing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. We encourage you to read the 94 Calls to Action and commit to working towards at least one of them.

You can also donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

COVID-19 Guidelines - Growers

Hello Growers,
THANK YOU for your commitment to reducing food waste and helping those experiencing food insecurity!
Below are some COVID guidelines to keep in mind when requesting a harvest:
  • CANCEL YOUR HARVEST REQUEST if you and/or someone that you have been in contact with is not feeling well, has travelled within 14 days, has been in close contact with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus, or are awaiting test results.
  • If you choose to keep some of the harvested food, please WASH IT BEFORE CONSUMING.
  • Please avoid contact with harvest volunteers. If you do interact with them in person, please ensure you MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCE AND WEAR A MASK
If you have any questions at all, please email us at help@rescuefood.ca. Thank you so much for your help and willingness to be there for our community!

COVID-19 Guidelines

Hello Volunteers,
THANK YOU for your commitment to reducing food waste and helping those experiencing food insecurity!
Below are some COVID guidelines to keep in mind while harvesting on behalf of Home Harvest:
  • You must SIGN A WAIVER prior to attending a harvest
  • Volunteers who sign up in the app must keep a record of everyone who attends each harvest with them so that they can be notified if needed for contact-tracing purposes
  • Please WEAR A MASK throughout the harvest and WASH YOUR HANDS/USE HAND SANITIZER before and after the harvest (and during, if necessary). Contact help@rescuefood.ca if you’d like a reusable mask.
  • PHYSICAL DISTANCING MUST BE PRACTICED AT ALL TIMES. Please ensure you maintain physical distance from individuals not in your cohort, including other harvest volunteers and growers. 
  • DO NOT HARVEST FOOD if you and/or someone that you have been in close contact with is not feeling well, has travelled within 14 days, has been in contact with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus, or are awaiting test results.
  • SANITIZE SURFACES you come in contact with (fences, gates, tools, equipment) before and after the harvest.
  • LEAVE NO TRACE. Please take home any sanitizing equipment, masks and garbage created throughout the pick. 
  • Practice NO CONTACT DROP OFFS at agencies (ensure that the food is in a safe/covered area).
  • Bags or boxes that you are using to contain/transport the harvested food do not need to be sterilized, but please ensure they are clean.
Please Note: Volunteers are not responsible for washing fruit before donation to charities. Charities that accept fruit donations will be responsible for fruit washing before food preparation and/or eating.
If you have any questions at all, please email us at help@rescuefood.ca. Thank you so much for your help and willingness to be there for our community!
Hello Growers,
THANK YOU for your commitment to reducing food waste and helping those experiencing food insecurity!
Below are some COVID guidelines to keep in mind when requesting a harvest:
  • CANCEL YOUR HARVEST REQUEST if you and/or someone that you have been in contact with is not feeling well, has travelled within 14 days, has been in close contact with a confirmed case of the Coronavirus, or are awaiting test results.
  • If you choose to keep some of the harvested food, please WASH IT BEFORE CONSUMING.
  • Please avoid contact with harvest volunteers. If you do interact with them in person, please ensure you MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCE AND WEAR A MASK
If you have any questions at all, please email us at help@rescuefood.ca. Thank you so much for your help and willingness to be there for our community!

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