Co-op Food Forward ProgramActions
Every year, grocery stores across our country unnecessarily throw out unsold food. We have recognized that we need to strive to be better in this area, and we have been working hard at making improvements.
In January of 2020, our Co-op started a new program to decrease food-waste in a safe and productive way.
We are pleased to announce that this past year we were able to safely donate more than 50,000 lbs of food to organizations locally, resulting in gifting food and meals to schools, medical staff, non-profit organizations, people in need, and more.
This takes a team! From safely separating foods, to quick organization and preparation, to distribution in a timely manor, well… we have learned that it takes a village!
Our goals are to continue to reduce waste in a safe and healthy way while abiding by all health and safety regulations, and at the same time support the community and keep our community fed.
Morden's program is led by Westside Church, and they have worked together with many organizations in the surrounding area. Winkler’s program is led by Food First, an organization that also strives to use every item of food donated for the good of our community. Central Station has been gracious in allowing their fridge and freezer space to be used to store food donated by Co-op. Westside Community Church, Central Station, Winkler Food Cupboard, and Food First are great partners and have been working well together to feed the community.
So what happens?
Every Monday food is collected at Morden and Winkler Co-op, and brought to two locations to be sorted. Yogurt, fruit, juice, bread gets divided to deliver to high schools for their breakfast programs. In addition, a representative from Genesis House Women's Shelter comes and takes suitable food for their needs for the week. Remaining food gets refrigerated or frozen for distribution for Food Cupboard clients on Wednesday morning. When possible, meals are prepared for front line workers as an act of kindness during the pandemic. The food collected on Monday is all distributed by Wednesday.
Ultimately, this is another opportunity for kindness in the community we love.
We want to thank the team that has worked together with us in our first year of learning through the process: to Co-op staff, Westside Community Church, Central Station, Food First, and the many volunteers it takes to make this happen, THANK YOU!
This initiative can only grow and be better in the future, and we look forward to the years to come to see what we can accomplish together!