Fighting Food Waste

The Leftovers Foundation (Leftovers) is Western Canada’s largest food rescue charity with a dual mission of environmental protection and hunger relief. We work with over 70 local restaurants, bakeries and grocers in Calgary and Edmonton to ensure nutritious food is kept out of the landfill and instead redirects approximately 6000 lbs per week to over 50 service agencies and into the hands of those who need it most.

The food rescued and delivered helps service agencies such as the Calgary Drop-In Centre, Calgary Interfaith Food Bank, Alpha House, Making Changes Association and Inn from the Cold  reduce their annual grocery bills, alleviating stress and freeing up funds that can be reinvested in other vital support programs like housing, education, rehabilitation, and other essential social support programs.

The work we do has a four-fold impact:

  • Quality food for service agencies – our food deliveries to charitable organizations enable them to provide a broad range of high-quality food that was not available previously.
  • Savings for service agencies – our food deliveries to charitable organizations enable them to redirect vital funding into education, rehabilitation and other programs, which directly benefit the people they serve.
  • Helping the environment– by ensuring that good food is being eaten rather than going to landfill, Leftovers is minimising food waste and saving our environment by preventing tonnes of carbon emissions from polluting the atmosphere.
  • Savings for food donors – our food donors benefit from reduced expenditure associated with the disposal of excess food, reduced food storage costs and the satisfaction of knowing they are making a valuable contribution to those in need in the local community
Do your part! It takes just 1 - 2 hours a month to rescue food!


From the Calgary Eats Report

In 2011, there was $27 billion of food waste that found its way to the landfill and composting which is 40% of all Canadian food production and is 2% of Canada’s GDP.

In 2010, in Calgary, The ICI (Industrial, Commericial, Institutional Waste Diversion) disposed of 90 160 tonnes/ year in food waste which composed of 28% of total waste. For single family waste streams (waste collected via black cart program), 67 550 tonnes / year in food waste was disposed, which comprises 35% of total waste.

Calgary Vital Signs
In 2014, the overall poverty rate in Calgary was 13.3%, which is 158,961 people. In that year, there was estimated to be 3,533 homeless people.
Food N More
Approximately 77,000 Calgarians go without adequate food and nutrition every year
Avenue Calgary Article
In 2011, 12.3% of Alberta households experienced food shortages due to financial constraints. 25% of food insecure households accessed food banks. There was 7.95 million kg of food distributed by the Calgary Food Bank between September 2012 and June 2013 and the Food Bank serviced 136 000 clients
Calgary Food Bank
In 2014, 132 469 Calgarians accessed the food bank which equated to 16 million pounds of food
Calgary Homeless Foundation
In 2014, there 3 555 homeless people and it was estimated that 1 766 lived in emergency shelters.

In 2010, they estimated that there are 16 000 shelter users annually.
DI Shelter
In 2010, there were 390 958 stays (person night accomodations provided) and 1 114 990 meals served (includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, bagged lunches and snacks)