Morgan Kerr is known around the board room turned food recovery work room as the chief executive portable sink operator. Here he points out a problem to program coordinator Mason Blackmore. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)

Morgan Kerr is known around the board room turned food recovery work room as the chief executive portable sink operator. Here he points out a problem to program coordinator Mason Blackmore. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)

Revelstoke’s Food Recovery program ahead of the times

As other municipalities catch on Community Connections’ program is coming on its two year anniversary

Every morning volunteers haul hundreds of pounds of food, that was otherwise destined for dumpsters, into the basement board room at Community Connections.

For the last two years Revelstoke’s underground food recovery program has been one of the leaders in movement in the province. Last year the team was invited to contribute to a food recovery manual that is now being used nation-wide.

“We get a lot of calls from other municipalities,” said Mason Blackmore, coordinator of the program.

And now, two years later, the program is catching on. Earlier this year Save-On-Foods began a pilot project in Chilliwack aiming to reduce food waste.

But Revelstoke is ahead of the game. Since its inception in 2016 the program’s volunteers have collected 285,000 pounds of food. It is then distributed through 25 different agencies in town including the food bank, the Women’s Shelter and the school district’s breakfast programs, among others.

READ MORE: Food waste doesn’t take a holiday: Here’s what Food Connect is up to

“Not only are we keeping all of that food out of the landfill, we are keeping all of the packaging because we run a zero waste program,” said Patti Larson, director of community outreach and development at Community Connections.

Food that isn’t fit for human consumption is donated to local farmers who use it as animal feed and the program employs someone who takes care of the recycling every week.

So far the project has received funding from the Columbia Basin Trust as well as Food Banks Canada, but they are in limbo at the moment waiting to hear back on funding applications to continue the project.

In town both grocery stores are on board and volunteers collect food from them every day except Fridays. Other businesses in town donate their leftover food at the end of the day including Starbucks, Tim Hortons and long time supporter Mountain Meals.

“Mountain Meals has been on board for years, even prior to this particular program,” Larson said.

They freeze the soup they have left at the end of the day and it is one of the first things to go from the food bank on Fridays.

Larson added that there is an understanding between the program and the donors that healthy food is top priority.

“People don’t make choices to be unhealthy, I think they are there because of their income, they are there because of circumstance,” she said.

READ MORE: Mt. Begbie Brewery creates bread beer from food waste

The program currently operates out of the basement at Community Connections. Two or three volunteers pack, sort and delivery the food to various locations every day. On Thursday afternoons the extra food from the week is hauled over to the basement at the legion, which houses the food bank on Fridays. A literal underground movement.

It is the volunteers that make the program work and they are always looking for more, Blackmore said.

Don’t have the time? Financial donations are needed as well to purchase food that isn’t recovered or donated as well as vitamins and other necessities for the clients.


 

@JDoll_Revy
jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Colten Hollenberg and Morgan Kerr are two of the Food Recovery Programs’ regular volunteers. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)

Colten Hollenberg and Morgan Kerr are two of the Food Recovery Programs’ regular volunteers. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Men in a work camp at Mile 46 on the Big Bend Highway. 
(Revelstoke Museum and Archives Photo 2259)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for June 17

Bumper strawberry crop, Mt. Logan climbers and unemployment relief

(File)
‘It’s not going to work here’: Revelstoke mayor to meet province over ambulance changes

There is a new system being introduced across the province called Scheduled On-Call (SOC)

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The crosswalk is at Third Street and Mackenzie and was installed on June 17. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Painting a rainbow: First Pride crosswalk installed in Revelstoke

‘It signals to the community that this city is inclusive,’ Mayor Gary Sulz

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read