Nicole Knauf, Emily Sauve and Dale Arnett load groceries from Save on Foods into the back of the Salvation Army van for Fernie Fresh Food Share. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Fernie food share program thrives under new partnership

Four times the amount of food is being saved from landfill under a new partnership between a Fernie supermarket and food share program.

Nicole Knauf used to collect about 1500 pounds of food per month from local businesses on behalf of Fernie Fresh Food Share, which ensures families and individuals who are struggling financially do not have to go hungry.

Now, thanks to a joint initiative with Save On Foods, she collects this much every week.

Look back: Fernie food share programs save 30,000 lbs of food

The supermarket provides food from every department in the store. Previously, Knauf used to only collect food from the produce department. Now, she also collects from the deli, meat, dairy and bakery departments.

“It’s been insane, the increase in food,” said Knauf. “And the increase in types of food has been huge for people too. Now there’s meat and cheese, and dairy, that’s just super expensive for people to buy and for some people it’s just not realistic to buy it.”

The progam has never had a consistent meat supply before, Knauf explained. Occasionally, she would receive meat from the Fernie Cattle Company but not on a regular basis. Now, she gets meat five days a week.

This is part of the Zero Waste Initiative that Save On Foods has recently implemented, which is being replicated across the province.

Knauf still regularly collects food from other businesses around Fernie, including Starbucks, 7-11, Crumbs Cakery, Freshies and Red Apple, two days a week. There are several other businesses, such as The Loaf, Fernie Cattle Co., Blue Toque Gastro Diner, Bridge Bistro and Yamagoya Sushi that occasionally donate.

Since January this year, Fernie Fresh Food Share has prevented 17,582 pounds of food from being thrown away. Now, they have accelerated their collection amounts to 308 pounds every day. In the first 17 days of March, they have collected 3430 pounds of food.

None of the donated food is going to waste. According to the Salvation Army, between 40 and 70 individuals, some representing families, now utilize the food bank every day.

“The amount of people coming in has totally increased, all the food is going still on a day-to-day basis,” said Knauf.

Save On Foods Fernie Store Manager, Ryan Nesbitt said the store is excited to partner with Fernie Fresh Food Share and the Salvation Army Food Bank. He extended a large thanks to Knauf and all the food share volunteers, as well as the Salvation Army.

Knauf collects the food which then becomes available for pickup at the Fernie Salvation Army. Nesbitt said that without a partner in the community that will accept, sort and ensure that the products go to an available organization, their zero waste initiative would be very difficult.

Nesbitt further explained that because storage at the store is so limited, without daily pickups from people like Knauf, Save On Foods would not be able to hold their products for human consumption. He added that he is extremely proud of his team in Fernie for coming up with creative solutions to help them meet their zero waste goal.

“They are backing this initiative with a positive attitude knowing that they are helping those in need,” he said.

“On a personal level I’m thrilled to see this food go to good use. Every day we throw out food that is perfectly good for people to eat, which can be disheartening when you know there are people who are struggling to put food on the table. It’s so encouraging seeing the community adopt this.”



editor@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Conservation Officers seek public assistance

A mule deer buck was poached within Elkford town limits

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Annual Elk Valley Pride Festival paints the town rainbow

Festivities began with a spirited Pride Bike Parade and flag raising ceremony

City of Fernie installs new railway safety decals

Part of Rail Safety Week, the initiative promotes railway safety at one of Fernie’s busy crossings

MP Morrison faults federal Throne Speech as new Parliament session begins

Kootenay-Columbia representative criticizes a lack of focus on jobs, support for resource sector

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read