As a community leader in food issues, the Kawartha Lakes Food Source is always looking for innovative ways to build and strengthen food security within the City of Kawartha Lakes. On May 22, Heather Kirby, General Manager of the Kawartha Lakes Food Source, announced the kick-off of a new initiative in Lindsay which will address the avoidable crisis of food loss and waste at a local level, with a dual mission of hunger relief and environmental protection.

“The Kawartha Lakes Food Source recognizes that we need to change the way food is valued throughout production, processing, distribution, retail, and at home”, says Heather Kirby. “Food waste accounts for nearly 60 percent of the industry’s environmental footprint, and most of it is completely avoidable”.

To begin developing the connections between food businesses and social service agencies, the Kawartha Lakes Food Source has partnered with Second Harvest and Value Chain Management International to introduce to the City of Kawartha Lakes. The project is made possible by a $1.8 million-dollar investment from the Walmart Foundation for the study and acceleration of food rescue across Canada. is a free and easy-to-use online platform which connects any type of food business which would like to donate surplus food to any registered charity or non-profit organization that can make use of it. Food businesses and non-profits register online and agree to abide by safe food handling guidelines. When a business has surplus food available for donation, they create a post on indicating the type, amount, and when it is available for pickup. A notification of the available donation is sent out to all non-profits registered with the capacity to retrieve and store it, and an interested organization can claim the donation and go to the donor for pickup.

Avoidable food loss and waste refers to any loss or waste which is unplanned or unexpected, such as food that does not meet aesthetic criteria, surplus production from incorrect demand forecasting, processing inefficiencies, confusion about date coding, and so on.

Across Canada 58 percent of all food produced is lost or wasted. Of this, 32 percent could be rescued, which is equal to 11.2 million metric tonnes per year. At the same time, four million Canadians, 10,182 of whom live within the City of Kawartha Lakes, struggle to access sufficient, safe, and nutritious food which meets their preferences for an active lifestyle. The gap between these issues presents an opportunity for food businesses to come together with social service agencies to divert perfectly edible food from landfills in order to meet the immediate needs of community members.

Local food businesses and social service agencies interested in registering to be donors and rescuers can contact Jessica Topfer at (705) 341-5088 or