For the last few weeks, The SEED has been receiving large food donations and getting the free food out to our community.
Starting on July 22 and thanks to funding from United Way, we now are receiving a truckload of donated food weekly from Second Harvest. The first truckload we received was valued at over $50,000! We will be continuing this for several more months, while the funding (for transporting the food) lasts.
How it Works
Second Harvest‘s warehouse is in Mississauga. Early Friday afternoons, a 24ft refrigerated truck rolls from there up to our own Community Food Warehouse loading dock.
Most SEED staff are busy on our pack line, as it’s Groceries from The SEED delivery day, and there’s a lot going on. Logan, our amazing Warehouse and Delivery Lead, unloads the truck. Suddenly, our fridge and warehouse are packed to the brim with loads of good food! The now-empty truck drives away, and we are surrounded by skids and skids of free food to be given away the following week.
The nutritious food collected by Second Harvest is anything from organic pears to gluten-free granola bars, dairy-free cheese, organic salad dressing, and honeydew melons! Though this food is apparently “not up to grocery store standards”, our team sees through to its goodness. We ensure that our food quality standards are met and best-before dates are tracked and accounted for, in order to best support our community.
Where does the food go?
The food gets catalogued by SEED Assistants Leks and Yasmine, and divided up according to different criteria among…
- food banks and pantries via Good Food Distribution
- the Free Food section of Groceries from The SEED
- Upcycle Kitchen for transformation
- our partner organizations, Community FEWD and Indigenous Food Sovereignty Collective.
Groceries from The SEED items are put online as soon as possible so that our community has quick and easy access to a wide range of free and nutritious food!
Learning to work with a huge amount of donations
So far, this influx of food has been challenging for SEED staff, with long hours in the warehouse spent unloading, organizing and cataloguing the food. Getting these large quantities of food out to our community has also meant tweaking our systems, with lots of learning to be done.
However, it is beyond rewarding to know people are gaining free, ongoing access to nutritious food through these coordinated efforts! We have the goal of making 11,200+
grocery deliveries with free food to 700+ individuals and families experiencing food insecurity, all while reducing the amount of food waste in our community. So far, so good!
If you know of a group or organization interested in receiving some of this food, please reach out to Kari- [email protected] .