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Food waste or loss is an issue that has been increasingly getting more attention in the media these days, and for good reason. The statistics are shockingly big; in Canada over 35 million metric tonnes of food, equivalent to 14,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, is wasted on an annual basis across the food supply chain. While the economic impact of this waste is estimated to cost $49.5 billion dollars annually. The good news is that there are viable solutions to help change this and many companies are already implementing ways of reducing their food waste.
A great example is Daiya Foods, a plant-based dairy alternative manufacturer based in Vancouver, who are dedicated to minimizing their environmental impact in a number of ways. Daiya Foods have taken a major step in committing to reducing their food waste by diverting as much of their surplus from landfill as possible and distributing it to charitable organizations by using the FoodMesh Marketplace. The FoodMesh Marketplace is an online platform that easily allows businesses to sell or donate their surplus food to a network of other like-minded businesses and charities committed to tackling food waste. Everytime a new food item is posted on the marketplace, a notification is sent out to a network of customers and charities allowing for easier and faster connections. This platform has not only made it easier for Daiya to find more charities to donate to, but also allows them to effortlessly track their donations and measure their environmental impact.
Since partnering with FoodMesh in 2018, they have already managed to divert over 119,941 Kg of food from the landfill, creating over 199,902 meals and preventing more than 227,888 Kg of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Daiya’s donations have benefited 30 food charities across North America from Vancouver, B.C. to Portland, Oregon and Montreal, QC.
One charity in particular who has benefited greatly from these donations is the Lotus Light Charity Society in Vancouver. For over 25 years, Lotus Light has been supporting those in need in Vancouver through a variety of programming. Their Food Recovery program helps to distribute donated food items to over a dozen recipient groups throughout Metro Vancouver. “This is not all about just providing food – we do this to shine a light of hope and caring. Metro Vancouver is seeing more individuals and families struggling to feed and house themselves on marginal incomes and finding even jam and peanut butter to be expensive,” said Master Lian Tzi, President of Lotus Light Charity Society.
For Lotus Light, the FoodMesh platform has allowed them to connect with a number of new donors including Daiya Foods. Daiya Foods’ donations have made it possible for Lotus Light to provide thousands of pounds of food to numerous charities which benefit low-income families, elementary schools throughout Metro Vancouver and food assistance programs that support vulnerable community members of the Downtown Eastside. These food donations have a wide reaching impact throughout the community.
“FoodMesh has been a tremendous blessing to Lotus Light Charity Society (Vancouver). Through the FoodMesh marketplace, our charity has been able to connect with Daiya, an awesome locally-made food producer of tasty dairy-free, soy-free and gluten free food that is well received by our charity’s community partners and food recipients!”Gia Tran, Food Recovery Volunteer
Lotus Light Food Recovery Volunteers sorting a large donation from Daiya Foods
“Lotus Light Charity is always excited every single time we find Daiya’s donations listings on FoodMesh! Daiya’s yummy dairy-free yogurt alternatives, pizzas, and dairy-free cheeze shreds have been helping feed food insecure people in our local community (low-income families, inner city students and the homeless) in Metro Vancouver since the day Lotus Light opened our account on FoodMesh.” - Gia Tran, Food Recovery Volunteer
If your business is looking for ways to reduce your food waste while supporting your local community, why not sign up for a free account on the Marketplace to help divert your surplus food, packaging or equipment. It’s a practical way to achieve your sustainability and waste reduction goals, build your own local Food Recovery Network, and create a more connected and efficient food system.
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