With plenty of perishable ingredients potentially going to waste at all types of food service businesses and schools, SAIT has taken the initiative to provide its extra supply to a Calgary-based organization for redistribution.
After shutting down its main campus entirely, the post-secondary institute was faced with a large surplus of ingredients from its popular Professional Cooking diploma programs at its downtown satellite operations, Tastemarket by SAIT and Culinary Campus. Spearheaded by chef instructor Andrew Hewston, a team helped gather all perishable items--from most types of fresh produce to dairy, eggs, cheese and more--before sorting and packaging them onto seven pallets and sending them to Leftovers Foundation.
Leftovers Foundation is a charity that sets its sights on rescuing usable food in an effort to decrease the country's amount of food waste while redirecting these foods to people who need it most. The organization primarily operates via its mobile app with food businesses to retrieve any ingredients that will not be used. It also operates Fresh Routes, a mobile grocery store that runs in both Calgary and Edmonton, which now has restricted routes during the COVID-19 crisis, so check for updates on their website.
"This is an easy way [for a large institution] to donate leftover food, especially from a legal standpoint," explains Hewston. "They are connected to many social agencies in Alberta so they can best redistribute in a situation like this one."
The chef says he is very happy that SAIT was able to provide this large-scale food donation to people in need. He adds that he hopes this inspires other larger organizations, such as high schools with specialized culinary programs, and any insitutiton currently faced with a reserve of perishables to do the same.