A Sparwood supermarket is on its way to becoming waste free after partnering with a local food share program.
Sparwood Save-On-Foods has officially joined forces with the newly launched Sparwood Food Share in an effort to reduce food waste and help those in need.
Now in its second week of operation, Sparwood Food Share is the brainchild of Fernie Food Share founder Nicole Knauf and Sparwood Food Bank volunteer Edie Holland.
Prior to partnering with Save-On-Foods, the food bank stocked mostly non-perishable items. Thanks to this expansion, food bank volunteers will now be able to accept fresh food, including bakery items, deli meats, eggs and produce.
Approximately 133 people, 47 of which are children, access the Sparwood Food Bank.
“It’s exciting,” said Sparwood Save-On-Foods store manager Mark Lento.
“Our whole goal is zero waste, so right now we’ve got bins in the deli department, meat department, the bakery department, the dairy department and produce.”
Save-On-Foods has been donating non-perishables to the food bank for some time but the addition of fresh food, such as vegetables, meat and milk is new.
Lento explained that they were quite surprised at just how much food they gave away, that they would otherwise have thrown out.
In just the first four days of operations, the Sparwood Food Share collected 927 pounds of fresh food.
The Sparwood Food Share has successfully hired a driver to perform daily pickups.
Knauf helped launch the program and is starting to step back now that the ball is rolling.
In the meantime the popularity of the Fernie Food Share, which has been operational since January 2018, has exploded.
“On Monday, we had a 968-pound day,” said Knauf.
“A lot more people are getting to know about it I think and they’re starting to call me up.”
Knauf is currently looking for more Sparwood businesses to get on board with the Sparwood Food Share.
Anyone interested in volunteering can visit the Sparwood Food Share Facebook page.
Businesses looking to donate can contact Sparwoodfreshfoodshare@gmail.com.