“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Linda Bruce, Food Procurement & Donations Specialist at The Mississauga Food Bank says. “You’re feeding people in need, reducing waste, and helping the environment.”
She’s talking about ReclaimFRESH, the groundbreaking program that The Mississauga Food Bank launched in 2019. Since it started, the Food Bank has rescued over 620,000 pounds of nutritious food that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill—thanks to generous supporters like you.
The ReclaimFRESH team is always on the go. Three truck drivers cross the city each day, picking up truckloads of fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, and dairy from the food bank’s 24 partners, including grocery stores and food producers.
Everything is brought back to The Mississauga Food Bank’s main warehouse, where it’s inspected, sorted, and distributed to agencies. In a matter of days, all that nutritious food makes its way onto the plates of hungry children, seniors, families, and neighbours. “These donations help ensure that our clients get nutritious, balanced meals,” Linda says.
Everything that is donated is perfectly good—but can’t be put on store shelves for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it’s produce that’s not “picture perfect.” Sometimes, it’s products getting close to their “sell-by” date (that are still just fine to eat). “It’s a tragedy that all this nutritious food would otherwise go to waste,” Linda says.
“And the environmental impact is awful.” Food waste in landfills emits a staggering 56.6 million tons of greenhouse gases every year. That’s like 12 million extra cars on the road! Linda is deeply grateful to the food bank’s partners who have chosen to give back to the community through ReclaimFRESH.
She also has a message for the generous donors who make the program a reality: “You’re the reason our team can rescue so much nutritious food and put it in the hands of the people who really need it. Thank you so much!”