Food for Thought Blog

The Food Bank’s Fresh Approach to Food Recovery

January 17th, 2020Awareness

There continues to be a lot of conversation and news coverage around the rising cost of food, food waste and the food recovery work being done to prevent edible food from being wasted.

Last year, we published a blog post about “The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste,” and how unclear labels and a lack of understanding around expiry and best before dates play a major role in edible food ending up in the trash.

More than 34,500 people in Waterloo Region struggle to put food on the table, so it is especially concerning to know that more than half of all food produced in Canada ends up in a landfill. The rising cost of living and gaps in our current social safety nets are making it increasingly more difficult and challenging for individuals and families to access healthy, affordable and nutritious food.

At The Food Bank, our commitment to food recovery and ensuring no one goes hungry in our community goes beyond the donations we accept. For more than 30 years, The Food Bank has been working with corporate, community and food industry partners to prevent edible, healthy food from being thrown away and instead redirected to help people in need.

Fresh Approach to Food Recovery

The initiative was formalized in 2018 with the launch of the Fresh Approaches Food program – a seamless approach to food recovery that focuses on reducing food waste and extending the lifespan and freshness of food. This program includes two key pillars:

  • Saving Fresh. Feeding Community is our food recovery program that prevents edible, healthy food from restaurants, local farmers and food industry partners from being thrown away, significantly reducing food waste in our community.
  • Fresh Approaches Food Centre is our on-site food processing facility and allows us to increase the variety, quality and quantity of fresh food available to those in our community accessing food assistance.

To date, we have reduced fresh food waste by 28% and sorted and repackaged 54,815 pounds of dry, fresh and frozen product, providing an additional 42,824 meals in our community.

Supporting Fresh Approaches and Food Recovery

Supporting the Fresh Approaches Food program can save your business money, reduce food waste and most importantly help to ensure no one goes hungry in Waterloo Region.

Adhering to Food Safety Guidelines and provincial regulations, it is easy and safe for your business to donate surplus food to the Fresh Approaches Food program. We are also able to offer reliable pick-up and drop-off opportunities for businesses supporting food recovery.

If you are interested in making a donation, please visit or contact us at: 519-743-5576.