Community Connections Revelstoke has been tapped to help develop a province-wide food waste diversion program for Food Banks BC.
In March, the provincial government announced it was giving Food Banks BC $10 million to develop a food recovery program that would ensure the proper transportation and refrigeration of perishable food items like fresh produce, dairy and meat. $6.5 million will go towards transportation needs and $3.5 million will go to refrigeration at food banks across the province.
Community Connections Revelstoke will help with the implementation of the program by lending the expertise it has gained through its food recovery program, which was started in March 2016.
Jenna Fraser, the community food & outreach coordinator with Community Connections, will be working with people from Kamloops and Nanaimo to create a manual that will help other food banks access the resources it need to start their own food recovery programs.
Revelstoke’s program has diverted more than 40,000 kilograms of food from the landfill and onto the plates of food bank users, according to Community Connections.
“Although the program has proven successful in Revelstoke, there are barriers to recovering perishable foods including refrigeration and storage needs which can be expensive to implement,” stated Community Connections in a news release.
Several other government initiatives have enabled food recovery programs in recent years. In 2010, the province enacted the Food Donor Encouragement Act, which protects donors from the liability of donating foods to local food banks. Last year, the province launched the Provincial Farmers’ Food Donation Tax Credit, which encourages farmers to donate surplus agriculture products to local food banks.