On June 15th the Federal Government of Canada began accepting applications for a new program called the “Surplus Food Rescue Program”. This is a first in Canada and signals upward of $50 million being spent to rescue surplus food from farmers that are experiencing an excess food crisis because of the pandemic.
The government has not specifically classified which food products it plans on rescuing however it has noted that the categories of horticulture products, meat products, and seafood products will all be rescued with about a third of the funding being allocated for each.
The program also has a new goal of 10% of all food rescued to be redirected to Northern communities. This is extremely important as Northern communities are at a higher risk of food insecurity because of climate change, fluctuations in grocery prices, and the transportation required to get food there in the first place.
The program is expected to partner with food banks across the country, however, they urge for-profit businesses and other types of businesses that have the potential to redirect food to apply to the program.
This is an exciting project because it reduces food waste, while also making sure it is redirected to people in need. It should not have taken this long for the government to develop a program like this as the USA has been doing this for years, however, I am hopeful that this is just the start of attention being paid on sustainable solutions to the issue of food waste in Canada.
What do you think? Is this a good first step forward? Can more be done, if so what should the Government of Canada aim for next?