By Tim Kalinowski on June 12, 2021.
In an effort to meet its goal of having zero per cent of its raw or processed products ending up in landfills, and to help achieve its corporate target to donate 17,000,000 meals throughout North America by 2022, McCain Food Canada recently announced it will be donating the equivalent of 300,000 meals to national food rescue organization Second Harvest.
“Sustainability is at the heart of McCain,” explains Audrey Leduc, senior manager, planet-friendly practices for North America. “The pandemic has really emphasized the need for communities around the world to really come together.”
The donation falls under the auspices of McCain’s Building Thriving Communities pillar, which emphasizes rural sustainability, says Leduc.
“Our Building Thriving Communities pillar is really about helping the rural communities where we live and operate to thrive,” Leduc confirms, “because most of our processing plants are located in rural areas such as our Coaldale plant in Alberta. So our partnership with Second Harvest is really an exciting one. It is going to help us reach our thriving community targets.
“The first community target we are trying to reach is around food donations,” she adds. “It is really about making sure perishable food ends up in hungry bellies, and not the landfill. So Second Harvest is the perfect partner to help us with that. They really are the global thought leader on food recovery.”
Second Harvest works with food processing companies and partner agencies in southern Alberta to redistribute food which might otherwise end up in local landfills. In southwestern Alberta one partner agency is Calgary Family Peer Connections which, despite the name, is largely based in Fort Macleod these days.
Founder and director Jaquie Duhacek says her organization started out just over a year ago as a mental health support non-profit when she realized there was a real food need amongst those whom her organization served. She began trying to fill that need; however, demand for food soon outstripped the amount she was able to supply from other sources. Duhacek reached out to Second Harvest for support.
“Second Harvest was able to feed the need,” she says. “We started growing exponentially. We became very big, very fast.”
Soon a small tent the organization used to distribute food in Stavely gave way to a larger distribution facility in Granum, and then eventually last October to a full warehouse operation in Fort Macleod with two cold trucks to make deliveries within her entire region. Last Christmas Calgary Family Peer Connections delivered 200 pallets of food in one day to Piikani First Nation to help fill up its own local food bank, and continues to be an important supplier of food for the band.
Duhacek is astonished by the amount of food Second Harvest is able to supply, and it is thanks to donors like McCain Food Canada.
“With Second Harvest, and the donors they get, we wouldn’t be here, and be able to feed the masses like we do,” she says.
Duhacek says any organizations, non-profits, church groups, etc. looking for food should get in touch with her at Jaquie@calgaryfpc.com. For more information on McCain Food’s efforts toward greater sustainability and its zero per cent landfill objective visit mccain.ca.
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