We have been exploring several alternatives to divert food waste away from landfills in a number of local, municipally led food waste programs. We are always looking for opportunities to create operational efficiencies to further reduce food waste, including piloting a number of organic waste programs. Based on an idea from a team member who participated in Sienna’s SPARK program, a program that inspires team members to share ideas on how Sienna can grow and improve, we piloted an initiative to redistribute excess food that would have otherwise been disposed of to Canadians living with food insecurity. Working with the Second Harvest, two residences in Ontario used the Second Harvest food rescue app to divert excess ingredients and prepared foods by donating them to local charities and not-for profits. During this trial over an 8-week span, more than 175 meals were donated, and 412 kg of greenhouse gases were diverted by keeping surplus food out of landfills and helping reduce harmful greenhouse gases, a leading source of human-caused climate change. The culinary teams and residents of the two participating retirement residences took great pleasure and satisfaction in knowing they were able to help those in need, while at the same time improving Sienna’s environmental stewardship.
Aviva Groll, Senior Brand Manager at Sienna and Winner of Sienna’s 2022 Spark Program for her idea on redistributing excess food to Canadians living with food insecurity