ICYMI: Supporting local with parking tickets, grocery store woes, and more

Five food stories you might have missed this week

It’s been another interesting week in the world of Canadian food news. From a unique initiative in Ontario that allows residents to use restaurant receipts to pay for parking tickets to a pay-what-you-can market opening in Calgary, to the West Coast where a coalition of Victoria restaurants are teaming up to dramatically decrease their environmental footprint.

Catch up on these stories and more in this week’s ICYMI.

Ontario city launches creative initiative to support local restaurants


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The city of Barrie, Ontario recently re-launched a unique initiative to support local restaurants by allowing residents to trade parking tickets for restaurant meal receipts. Within five days of receiving a parking ticket, residents can submit meal receipts from Barrie-based eateries of equal or greater value than the ticket, and the City will then forgive the fine. 

The program, which was previously in place from April to June 2021, has now been reapproved for 2022 as long as restaurants are closed for in-person dining. The City also previously provided residents with free two-hour parking to help support local businesses for the entire month of December. 

Head to Restobiz for the full breakdown.

Impending grocery store closures

While we’ve already begun to see multiple instances of empty shelves at grocery stores across the country due to supply chain-related product shortages, experts are now saying that the added pressure from rising labour shortages may cause many of Canada’s independent grocers to close. 

At the moment, employee absenteeism because of sickness and COVID-19 protocols has hit approximately 30 per cent, and is expected to continue to rise due in large part to a lack of access to rapid test kits. 

Find the full story at CTV News.

Pay-what-you-can market opens in Calgary


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In response to the recent rise in both grocery prices and food insecurity, a pay-what-you-can market recently launched in Calgary, offering up essential food items such as fresh produce and pantry items at whatever price point they can afford. 

In addition to allowing food-insecure Calgarians to shop with dignity, Kin Market’s model also helps to create connection and community-building. 

Find out more at Global News.

Victoria’s reusable takeout container program

A Victoria-based restaurant coalition recently launched an innovative takeout program that will allow customers to opt to add a reusable container to their order for an additional $8. Each container comes equipped with a QR code that takes customers to a curated list of participating restaurants at which the container can be returned and reused for future orders. 

Find the full breakdown on the Bread and Butter Collective at CBC news.

Edmonton journalist Adrienne Pan passes away

Edmonton-based journalist and host of CBC Edmonton RadioActive, Adrienne Pan, tragically passed away this week at the age of 43. Throughout her celebrated career in Canadian media, Pan was known for being a hard worker who inspired her audience and colleagues to reach for high standards. 

Pan will be dearly missed by friends, family, and the Canadian food community at large. You can read more about her life and career from fellow Edmonton food journalist Twyla Campbell and at CBC News.