Recently Second Harvest had the chance to ask Audrey Leduc, McCain’s Senior Manager, Planet-Friendly Practices, five quick questions. Audrey’s role at McCain is supporting planet-friendly innovation across McCain’s supply chain, ensuring environmental compliance and advising on customer, consumer and employee outreach on the topic of sustainability.
1. Tell us about McCain’s Global Sustainability Strategy. What motivated your commitment to build thriving communities?
Since our founding on a farm in New Brunswick in 1957, helping the rural communities where we live and operate to thrive has been a priority. In 2020, the pandemic further highlighted the fragility of many communities around the world, including rural and marginalized communities. In the countries where we operate, we witnessed millions of people facing unemployment, while food banks struggled to keep up with demand. In response, our McCain teams expanded our existing partnerships with food banks and we were able to donate the equivalent of more than 53 million meals globally.
2. How has supporting Second Harvest impacted your team and your greater community?
Our partnership with Second Harvest is brand new and we are excited to collaborate with them to achieve our ambitious North American objectives, including:
Increase food donations – McCain will continue to donate products and raw food to reach the equivalent of 17 million meals donated in the 2022 fiscal year.
Reduce food waste – Achieving zero food waste objective, ensuring that both raw and finished products are enjoyed and never thrown out.
Volunteering Opportunities – McCain launched McCain Chips In, an exciting new program enabling employees to benefit from a paid day off to volunteer and support the communities where we operate.
3. If you could say one thing to people and organizations considering supporting Second Harvest, what would it be?
Second Harvest is a global thought leader on food recovery. Their Food Rescue app, which helps local food donors share unsold healthy surpluses with non-profits in their communities, is easy to use and a testimony to Second Harvest’s desire to continuously innovate. In terms of technology for Food Banks, they are leading and have an ability to predict their partner’s needs.
4. Did McCain’s Global Sustainability Strategy change in response to the global pandemic?
Although life fundamentally changed for many in 2020, the acute challenges posed by climate change and our fragile food system only became more evident. We are proud of the significant strides made towards achieving our Sustainability Strategy last year and the pandemic underscores the emphasis on the food industry and its stakeholders – furthering our resolve to act.
5. What does “No Waste. No Hunger” mean to McCain?
We are fortunate to be in a position where we can make a difference for those in need and are proud to play a role in improving the communities where we live, work and play. We focus our efforts where we can have the greatest positive impact: no waste, no hunger means continuing to grow our business sustainably while ensuring that our finished goods and the raw products that we use always sustain our communities and never become waste. This is part of our objective to continue to bring people together and unite them towards planet-friendly food.
Did you know that reducing your food waste can save you money? We toss 2.3 million tonnes of perfectly good food every year, costing Canadian households an average of $1,766 a year.
That’s why we are challenging you this month of August to reduce food waste and food costs and donate the difference back to Second Harvest. Our goal is to raise $25,000 to help provide food for over 50,000 meals for people across Canada!
Have you found kitchen hacks that have reduced your food waste and saved you money, like freezing – and eating – your leftovers, turning overripe fruit into gelato, buying only what you need or using smaller storage? Estimate your savings and #DonatetheDifference
Step 3: Show off your progress on social!
Take a photo of your economical and planet-friendly meal or food saving tip and post them with the hashtag #DonatetheDifference and tag @SecondHarvestCA. Take it up a notch and tag three friends to take the challenge with you – and be sure to follow us on social @SecondHarvestCA to see how people like you are doing their part.
Inspired to see how much you can save? We have all the resources and tips to help you get started.
Reducing food loss and waste is serious work that can also be a lot of fun! On July 29, we are launching a Youth Food Waste Prevention Symposium featuring your choice of one of three youth-friendly workshops that will inspire youth, families, and their friends to reduce food waste at home, at school and in their community!
Want to earn the chance to win a food rescue swag bag worth $100? Make this a family or organization event! The more people you bring, the more chances you get to win a prize! Click hereto learn more.
On the day, you’ll choose your food waste adventure by picking one of the following workshops:
Option 1: Urban (and Kitchen!) Agriculture
We will get a virtual tour of an urban farm to see what it takes to grow food, even in small spaces. And you’ll learn how to turn your own kitchen into your own urban farm by re-growing food scraps. With a little love and patience, we can re-grow our food to enjoy a second or third time!
Option 2: Become a Food Explorer
Do you live with a picky eater – adult or kid? This workshop will show you how to rediscover the sensory delight in food while creating meals that are delicious and colorful… not just good for you.
Option 3: Preserving Surplus Food
Preserving surplus fruits and vegetables does not have to be a chore! Come and try our kid-friendly recipes that are not only delicious but use up those leftover ingredients in no time. This workshop also has recipes to keep you cool this summer so check it out!
Pro tip: You will also gain access to our Educator’s Guide to Food Waste Prevention if you attend our event! It’s a perfect companion guide for any educators looking for informative, interactive, out-of-the-box activities to encourage youth to become food rescue heroes!
Youth Food Waste Symposium Thursday July 29, 2021 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM EST
Second Harvest has marked a milestone: our first-ever sea-lift shipment of food donations, bound for Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Arviat, Chesterfield Inlet, Kimmirut, Baker Lake, and Kinngait in Nunavut. As you read this, shipments of healthy shelf-stable food including rice, soup, lentils, chickpeas, pasta and hummus, as well as laundry detergent are entering the Labrador Sea to help stock cupboards in vulnerable communities. Here’s the journey so far.
The complexity of shipping to the North is an exciting new challenge for Second Harvest. We are grateful to our partners Uber Freight, Arctic Co-op, GetPaq, Inari and Global Medic for logistics support, donations of food and personal care supplies.
The sealift is building on Second Harvest’s efforts to reach communities in the North, as we describe in Hearty, Yet Hungry: Northern Food Shipment Arrives in Aklavik which tells the story of how we distributed two planeloads of turkey breasts, chicken drumsticks, fries, canned salmon and eggs to this Northwest Territories hamlet.
Whether it’s with a fleet of trucks or our food rescue tech, Second Harvest’s work of recovering and redistributing healthy surplus food is always on the move.
Last year, Second Harvest rescued and redistributed more than 22 million pounds of food – and there is still more to be done. Our research has shown that there are 11.2 million tonnes of potentially rescuable, edible food sent to landfill every year – that’s enough to feed every Canadian for five months, for free, and that’s not even half of the 35.5 million tonnes of total food loss and waste in this country.
Working to reduce food waste, creating food donation tools and solutions for food businesses and making sure the surplus goes to people, not landfill, relies on the investment and vision of our partners, which is why we are celebrating entering our fifth year of support from the Walmart Foundation.
The support of the Walmart Foundation has enabled Second Harvest to conduct world-first research into food loss and waste, to develop our Food Rescue App, and then to expand the web app across Canada when COVID-19 hit to give non-profits like meal programs, shelters and food banks access to emergency food relief for their communities.
You can learn more about the reasons we’re celebrating in our recent press release – and to get a look at the Walmart Foundation’s partnership in action, click below to watch the impact video.
Our thanks and gratitude to the Walmart Foundation as we start and celebrate our fifth year of an incredible collaboration!