Love Food. Hate Waste. by Paul Seale
We work with food all day, every day, and we really do love it. The work and the food both. That’s one reason we really hate to see any of it go to waste. Another reason is that we know there are people in our community who don’t have access to all the healthy foods they need. Our neighbours. Our patrons. Our friends.
That’s why part of our work every day is to help reduce food waste, both here in the store, and in people’s homes where most food waste still happens. For starters, you’ll find helpful tips posted in the store (and more at www.foodwaste.ca). We’re also committed to offering the lowest prices we can on the smallest units we carry. No need to buy more than you need to get a better deal. And we keep tables of imperfect produce and other grocery items so that anyone can put them to work and take advantage of reduced prices.
Finally, if needed, we help to rescue food, too, and we work with a great set of partners to make sure that good food reaches people who can use it while it’s still good food!
While our social enterprise depends on selling food, we can’t always sell all we have. Thankfully, there are a number of like-minded people in London dedicated to rescuing good food and delivering it to people and programs in need.
For working with these programs, the OEV Grocer has been recognized by the London-Middlesex Food Policy Council as a Food Rescue Champion. According to store manager Matt Swenson, “In some countries, it’s illegal for grocery stores to throw out good food. We just think donating it is the right thing to do, and our partner groups make it really easy. I hope we’re setting an example that bigger stores can follow.”
The London Food Coalition is a partnership of organizations sharing a refrigerated truck and a storage hub so that food can be distributed to many organizations providing meals or emergency cupboards. We also work with ReHarvest Canada to make deliveries directly to close-by services and, even closer to home, we make donations to EAT UP in the Old East Village.
To learn more about these organizations, or to help them in their food rescue efforts, visit these sites: