In Canada, food waste has reached record breaking numbers. It is estimated that nearly 32% of lost and wasted food is edible and could have been redirected to help people
in our communities.


At The Food Bank of Waterloo Region food recovery is a top priority. We work with staff, volunteers and food industry partners to ensure the food acquired and distributed is healthy, nutritious and safe for consumption.

A Fresh Approach

Our commitment to food recovery and ensuring no one goes hungry in our community goes beyond the donations we accept. We work closely with corporate, community and food industry partners to prevent edible, healthy food from being thrown away and instead quickly redirect it to help the 33,355 people in need.

To reduce food waste and extend the lifespan and freshness of food, we created the Fresh Approaches Food program – a seamless approach to food recovery in Waterloo Region. The Fresh Approaches Food program has two important pillars:

Saving Fresh. Feeding Community

Our food recovery program. The program 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

Our award-winning, on-site food processing facility allows us to increase the variety, quality and quantity of fresh food available to those in our community accessing food assistance.

Join us and take a Fresh Approach to 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.

How Will You Make a Difference?

The Food Bank adheres to Food Safety Guidelines and provincial regulations making it easy and safe to donate surplus food to the Fresh Approaches Food program. We are also able to offer reliable pick-up and drop-off opportunities for local businesses supporting food recovery.

Donate Food
  • Using our fleet of refrigerated vehicles, The Food Bank is able to transport and store your donation at the appropriate temperature.
  • We are able to manage the distribution of your donation and allocate the product between the 100+ community programs and agency partners in Waterloo Region.
  • The Food Bank adheres to the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR)
  • To make a donation or to learn more, please contact us at: 519.743.5576.

Not sure what to donate?


All bread and bread product with no visible spoilage or opened packages.


All dairy product must be received before the Best Before Date.


All frozen fruits, vegetables, meals and desserts with no visible spoilage or opened packages.

General Grocery - Shelf Stable Items

All canned, jarred, bottled, boxed and bagged products with no visible spoilage or opened packages.

Grocery and Household Items

Non-perishable items with minimal damage and interior seals still intact.

Meat and Seafood

All frozen bulk and packaged meat, seafood and deli meat with no visible spoilage or opened packages.


All fruits and vegetables, bags of produce with minimal mold. Must have a minimum of 2-3 days shelf life.

Remember: All donations must include a full ingredient list. We are unable to accept moldy or rotten fruits and vegetables, or severely dented or damaged products. Products must have a Best Before Date within a year of the donation date.

Further Resources

Saving Fresh Feeding Community Information Sheet

Guideline for Distribution Past the Best Before Date

Donation Guidelines

Food Banks Canada Ethical Foodbanking Code