A popular grocery store is doing its part in Prince George.

Western Canada’s largest home-grown grocery chain, Save-On-Foods, announced just last week its company-wide goal of cutting its food waste in half by the year 2025 has already been surpassed.

It was just six months ago the company announced the goal.

Save On Foods confirmed to MyPGNow that all four of the company’s locations in the Northern Capital are on board with the program.

Since beginning the program, stores in Prince George have diverted 55,821 kilograms worth of food waste from landfills.

  • 34,241KG to Charity
  • 17,905KG to Farms
  • 3675KG to Compost

“The four stores here in town have been on the Zero Waste Program since April 28. We’ve actually been on it prior to that to a lesser extent,” Mike Jakubowski, Store Manager for the Hart Highway location, told MyPGNow.

The purpose of the program is to alleviate the amount of food being wasted and taking up space in landfills. The issue of food waste is reaching critical levels in Canada. Findings from Second Harvest’s 2019 report, The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste conclude:

  • Nearly 60 per cent of all food produced in Canada is lost and wasted annually. This equates to approximately 11.2 million metric tonnes of which is good, edible food that could be rescued and redirected to support people in our communities.
  • 56.5 million metric tonnes of COequivalent emissions are created by food waste in Canada every year.

“By regulation, product has to have best before dates on it, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not fit for human consumption,” said Jakubowski. “The amount of food that’s being made available for families in need, it’s amazing how many meals are being provided through the Zero Waste Program.”

Product is collected every morning of every day during the week from each of the locations in Prince George.

“Basically what happens is during the day, any food that is discarded at the store due to various reasons, all that product is collected and every morning it is picked up by the Salvation Army,” said Jakubowski.

Jakubowski added that items picked up can range from produce trimmings to out of date product.

Following pick-up, the Salvation Army here in Prince George then goes through all the bins of collected perishable foods, where they then determine whether the food is still safe for human consumption or whether it will be sent to farms for animal feed or compost.