FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A milestone of 50,000 pounds of food has helped feed families in Fort St. John thanks to the help of the Salvation Army, BC Hydro, ATCO, and the City of Fort St. John.

The innovative Food Donation Initiative started in November 2019 to help feed the city’s most vulnerable. The milestone is equal to that of roughly eight-and-a-half Zambonis or over 18 Honda Civics. It’s also one of the biggest prepared food donations ever recorded in Canada. According to Food Banks Canada, the donation of food is roughly worth $125,000.

The initiative was created to address the food waste from Site C workers’ accommodations and the City’s participation in the National Zero Waste Council. Through this Initiative, the Salvation Army has delivered food to local schools, seniors, a recovery centre for women, and other organizations in the area.

The city approached the ATCO Two Rivers Lodge to partner for the Initiative. The Lodge prepares typically around 5,000 meals a day to feed a workforce of around 1,700 workers. Any leftover food would be wasted; however, with the partnership, the Salvation Army can provide additional meals.

“This initiative has substantially enhanced our impact in the community. Through the strong partnerships that have been established, we have been able to add 100-200 meals per day to our Community and Family Services food bank program. This addition, on top of what we are already doing to support local seniors, families and a recovery centre for women, strengthens our capability to meet many current needs. We are excited to continue this project and look forward to what we will yet achieve,” says Jared Braun, Executive Director of FSJ The Salvation Army.

The project is possible thanks to the Food Donor Encouragement Act that B.C. has, which protects companies and people looking to make food donations.  Tourmaline Oil Corporation provided funding for the first year of the food delivery and also got Surepoint Group to step in for the second year.

“Our hope would be for these other sites to see this initiative as an example of local cooperation and good citizenship, but also as an effective solution for food insecurity in many of the communities where they operate,” says Mayor Lori Ackerman.