Trash talking: the problem with trying to solve hunger with corporate food waste

"Let’s not conflate a food waste strategy with a poverty reduction strategy." says Nick Saul CEO and President of Community Food Centres Canada.

Photo by Community Food Centres

Context : Bill C-231, also known as the Food Waste Bill, is scheduled for its second reading in Parliament on May 12th. Supporters of this bill argue that, by redirecting retail food waste from landfills to charities, we can simultaneously address food waste and hunger. In particular, the bill aims to "facilitate the donation, by the private sector, of blemished but edible food products to community organizations and food banks". Nick Saul, CEO and President of the Community Food Centres Canada, explains why this idea won't solve hunger and dangerously distracts us from addressing food insecurity in Canada.

Article published on the Community Food Centers Canada's blog by Nick Saul.

"Simply put, food waste will never be able to address hunger because hunger isn’t about a lack of food. It’s about a lack of income. People are food insecure because they can’t afford to eat.

Food waste diversion strategies aimed at the poor don’t fix the food waste problem either. Waste isn’t about not having enough mouths to feed. It’s about inefficiencies and bureaucracy in the food system that see crops tilled under and lost in the production process, other crops that are overproduced as a result of antiquated agricultural policy and incentive programs, a retail system that has overabundance built into its operation model, and individual consumers who buy food with the best intentions, only to have it spoil in the back of the fridge.

There’s a lot of work to be done on all these fronts. But if we’re going to make any progress on any of these issues, we need to think upstream."

Read the full article on Community Food Centers Canada website.