Changing lives, one meal at a time

by | Aug 3, 2023 | Community, Food Waste, Hunger Relief

What does it take to turn your life around? 

Kevin Bralovich believes having a good meal is part and parcel of having a good life, especially if you are starting a new, heathier chapter of life.  

Bralovich is the Executive Director of The Helm Center in Glen Haven, Nova Scotia, a non-profit that offers addictions recovery program for men, to help them find restoration, purpose and direction. Often men arrive at the centre malnourished. They first need to get healthy before they can get better. 

The Helm Center works closely with Tiffany Wagner, front end assistant manager at Sobeys Timberlea to receive rescued food and turn it into fresh nutritious meals for residents. The Helm Center is one of our network of 3,400 non-profits and 5,600 food donors connecting on The Second Harvest Food Rescue App. 

Redirecting good surplus food helps to nourish people in need while reducing the environmental impact of food waste. It also cultivates community spirit and a deeper connection among partners. As a champion for food rescue at the Timberlea Sobeys store, Wagner thinks it’s important to make a personal connection with those supported by the partnership: “You really want them to know that you’re doing this for them,” Wagner said. 

Sobeys is one of Second Harvest’s largest food donors and the winner of our first Partner of the Year Award. The company is making significant progress towards its goal to reduce food waste in operations by 50 per cent by 2025. Between May 2022 and May 2023, we worked with 728 participating Sobeys stores on the food rescue app to redirect 23 million pounds of good surplus food to 960 non-profits across Canada. That is an equivalent of nearly 73 million pounds of greenhouse gases averted from entering the atmosphere, or the equivalent of taking 10,000 cars off the road for one year.  

Notably, more than half of this donation is fresh produce, meat, and protein, much-needed items for many non-profits and could also have the most significant environmental impact if it ended up in landfills. Nourishing people is not as simple as providing them with calories, but with nutrition-dense food that allows them to live a healthy life which enables them to make meaningful changes. At The Helm Center, a warm nutritious meal is the beginning of healing journey.  

“You see guys come in angry and upset, broken and hurt, and then all of a sudden, over the course of weeks and months, you see light in their eyes. You see hope and future. It’s a special thing to watch,” Bralovich said. “If I could be a part of changing just even one person’s life, it’s worth every second.”  

On behalf of our non-profit partners and the communities that we serve, thank you to Sobeys, for your continued support and dedication to reducing the social and environmental impact of food waste.  

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