An organization called the Leftovers Foundation that was started in Calgary to take leftover food from restaurants to people who need it is now in Winnipeg.
The food rescue service moved to the Manitoba capital after receiving federal money.
“We’re actually the first project outside of Calgary because the ladies who started leftovers in Calgary gained national funding this past year so they’re able to take it out of province now,” replied Brandy Bobier, Winnipeg City Lead for the Leftover Foundation.
The Leftovers Foundation takes excess, edible food destined for the landfill and delivers it to local shelters.
Modern Coffee in Winnipeg is the first official partner of the Leftovers Foundation in the city.
The program reduces food waste by delivering the food from stores and restaurants to local centres and shelters like Ma Mawi Chi Itata, North End Women’s and North Point Douglas Women’s to name a few.
According to officials, food insecurity is an important issue any time of the year, but it’s even more crucial now because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bobier thinks now is a perfect time for this program to be introduced because of the upcoming holiday season.
“This is why we are so excited to have this in Winnipeg now is because during COVID is the primetime to be providing this service,”she said in a socially distanced interview with APTN News.
Bobier went on to say the efforts to get food to those people who need it needs to be increased.
“The service agencies that exist that are providing food to people whether it’s family hampers or bagged lunches, it needs to be increased ten fold because food insecurity is hitting every corner of our city right now so because of COVID, people losing jobs, people working less it’s just become that much worse and this is the prime time to do it.”
The program relies on volunteers to deliver the food who sign up on the Leftovers app, which can be downloaded through the App Store or the Google Play store.
Volunteers can view and accept routes from a grocery store or bakery and deliver any excess food to local centres and shelters.
Mitch Bourbonniere has been an active member of Mama Bear Clan and numerous other organizations in Winnipeg for years. He says this program will help bring the various organizations that help those less fortunate in the city come together.
“We’re just going to send out alerts when food is available all over the city,” said Bourbonniere.
“There’s already kind of an informal structure here in Winnipeg, I know Bear Clan and OPK and a lot of the helping organizations have already tapped into like individual grocery stores that donate food. This is just going to formalize it and get us all working together.”
Bourbonniere added that while the Winnipeg program is based off the one in Calgary, they may have to make some adjustments to make Winnipeg’s its own.
“I think it’s going to be a work in progress, so they do have a system that works for them in Calgary that’s tried and true. We’ll probably borrow that model as a blueprint and then we’ll have to adjust to make it fit what we do here in Winnipeg.”
Modern Coffee is the first of what’s expected to be eight donors to partner with the Leftovers foundation with more grocery stores, bakeries and coffee shops being announced in the coming weeks.