Grocery stores and supermarkets all over Quebec will now give their leftover and unused products to food banks that are in need.

FBQ (Food Banks of Quebec) recently announced the launch of the Supermarket Recovery Program (SRP) all across the province. Food Banks of Quebec states that this program is a first in Canada.

This program was first launched in Montreal and Quebec City as a pilot project in October 2013. It was a way to donate unsold food products to food banks.

According to Dominique Anglade, Quebec’s minister of economic development, it will allow them to organize donations in a far better way than before.

Anglade says that program is a “win -win” situation for everyone involved. Recyc-Quebec has even volunteered to subsidize said program with $395,200.

Instead of being sold and thrown away to landfills which can actually have negative effects on the environment as well as waste tons and tons of money, all the edible food products will be given to food banks and to families living in abject poverty.

177 grocery stores and supermarkets participated in the original 2013 pilot project. The pilot project raised about 2.5 million kilos of food which was worth about $20 million.

The project had a lot of positive results. Over 2000 tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and other greenhouse gas emissions were reduced. The project also provided a solution to some of the most daunting problems when running a food bank which is management and distribution.

Since grocery stores and supermarkets can’t really accommodate food banks one by one, the program will become a sort of middle-man between the establishments and the food banks. The program will be the one to manage distribution, transportation and storage instead of the grocery stores and supermarkets.

With the program, food products will be collected from participating establishments on a fixed schedule, they will then be taken to the main distribution point and then distributed to food banks.

The positive results of the pilot project were enough for the Food Banks of Quebec to have it turned into a province-wide program. This means that supermarkets all across Quebec will be able to participate in the program. It is expected that there will be more than 600 supermarkets and grocery stores that will participate in the program. More positive results are also expected. An estimated 14 million kilograms of food will be saved every year and about 13,000 tons of carbon dioxide will be reduced very year as well.

Most importantly this program will be able to help a lot of people who are in need.

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