Food for Thought Blog

The Food Bank Receives Innovation Award

February 21st, 2020Media Releases, Stories

When you hear the word innovation you might think of start-ups, universities, tech companies or large corporations.

What you might not think of, however, is non-profits and charities.

At last night’s 2020 Business Excellence Awards Gala, we (proudly and excitedly) accepted the Innovation Award, showing that innovation can come from any industry or sector.

Photo of the Team with the Innovation AwardThe Innovation Award is presented to a business or organization that has created, invented or developed an innovative product or process that has resulted in significant and measurable revenue, job creation, and productivity as well as a reduction in costs; and improvements in services.

A Fresh Approach to Food Recovery

We received the Innovation Award for our Fresh Approaches Food Program – a seamless approach to food recovery in our community. This innovative program is one of a kind and has two important pillars:

  • Saving Fresh. Feeding Community. This is our food recovery program that prevents edible, healthy food from restaurants, local farmers and food industry partners from being thrown away. This program significantly reduces waste and provides more food to those in need.
  • Fresh Approaches Food Centre. Our on-site food processing facility where staff and volunteers slice, dice and re-package dry, fresh and frozen donations, extending the lifespan and increasing the variety, quality and quantity of fresh food available to people accessing food assistance.

We are now able to accept more perishable food donations and offer new resources to the community to support increased food literacy, such as recipes, shopping lists, cooking and storage tips.

Visit our website at to learn more about this award-winning program and how you or your business can get involved.

Waterloo Region is a community of innovators. And it was our pleasure to be nominated alongside: DriverSeat, Quantum Greens Inc., Sonova and Waterloo Brewing LTD.

Congratulations to all the 2020 Business Excellence Award recipients. You are each making an exceptional contribution to Waterloo Region.

Drumroll please….and the winners are:
  • Business of the  Year (1-10 employees) – Crack Specialist
  • Business of the Year (11-50 employees) – Home Care Assistance
  • Business of the Year (over 50 employees) – Deep Trekker
  • New Business of the Year (under 2 years) – Simplify Supply Chain Solutions
  • Community Builder of the Year – Cowan Insurance
  • Employee Engagement – Traces Screen Printing
  • Environment and Sustainability – Cora Group
  • Health & Wellness in the Workplace – Axonify
  • Service Excellence in Hospitality & Tourism – Delta Waterloo
  • Innovation Award – The Food Bank of Waterloo Region
  • Non-Profit/Charitable – Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Region
  • Young Professional of the Year – Dani Bazely
  • Michael R. Follett Community Leader of the Year – Ron “The Codfather” Caudle

Thank you to the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce for an exceptional event and for recognizing the hard-work, impact and accomplishments of all the businesses in our community.


About The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

Founded in 1984, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region (The Food Bank) was the first organization of its kind in Ontario dedicated to providing emergency food. Thirty-five years after incorporation, The Food Bank continues to evolve to meet the needs of the community, ensuring no one goes hungry. As a leader of the Community Food Assistance Network, The Food Bank acquires and distributes more than 5 million pounds of fresh, frozen and non-perishable food to 100+ community programs and agency partners throughout Waterloo Region. The Food Bank is a registered charitable organization. Learn more at:


Jennifer Judges
o: 519.743.5576 x236