Digitally connecting surplus food with social service agencies.
Second Harvest Food Rescue
Food waste is serious business to Second Harvest.
Second Harvest is Canada’s biggest food rescuer. The organization saved 9.5 million pounds of food from being thrown out last year by delivering it to over 225 social agencies.
Thanks to the digital revolution, the Toronto charity is now building an app to give more restaurants and retailers the chance to donate.
Second Harvest is developing “Foodrescue.ca”, a digital platform for food rescue and delivery that will begin as a pilot project in Toronto before a potential national roll-out.
Second Harvest was founded in 1985 by Ina Andre and Joan Clayton, who wanted to feed the hungry with food that would otherwise be discarded.
Foodrescue.ca will allow them to capture donations that they could have otherwise not been able to rescue.
The platform will allow registered donors screened by Second Harvest to ensure food safety to post their available surplus. Registered agencies will be notified of availability based on geography, food needs or other specifics. Then, the agencies can contact the donors and arrange pickup and delivery directly.
As successful as Second Harvest currently is accepting smaller donations from restaurants and grocery stores can make a huge difference in Toronto, where they estimate about 370,000 people experienced food insecurity last year, and more than one billion pounds of food were wasted.
They must accept donations from a food inspected site, confirming it to grocery stores, coffee shops, fruit markets and restaurants.
The pilot’s goal is to rescue more than one million more pounds of food waste, worth almost $2,7 million and feed 14,000 more people. If successful, the program can then be scaled out across Canada.
Thanks to a US $1.5 million grant from an as yet unnamed global foundation, Second Harvest will develop a new Food Rescue tool that will help fight food waste responsively.