A second chance for rescued food

·2 min read

Jasper’s new food recovery program has proved a hit in the community.

Melody Gaboury, manager of the operation, said there have been plenty of donations of food from businesses in town since the program started at the beginning of November.

With a goal “to keep good food out of the landfills”, Gaboury and a team of volunteers collect food donated by grocery stores and a variety of other outlets and take it to the Anglican Church.

There, the items are organized and set out upstairs where they’re available for community members to pick up.

“It’s going well,” Gaboury said.

“It’s been so busy with people picking up the food.”

She said cooking skills are handy here, with a lot of the food needing to be processed.

For example, “Apples are bruised, but a majority of them are good, so people can make pies, or with overripe tomatoes you can make sauce and salsa,” Gaboury said.

Donations have included grocery items from TGP and Nesters, cooked meals, chips and orange juice from Jasper Park Lodge, cereal and chips from Pursuit, frozen vegetables from Downstream, eggs and yogurt from Nutters, milk from Sunhouse Cafe and homemade sauce from the Olive Bistro.

Gaboury said Patricia Street Deli donated a lot of food that “wasn’t close to expiring” when they closed temporarily.

She acknowledged, “It’s a difficult time for restaurants to operate.”

But with donations continuing to stream in, she is deeply grateful, and appreciates any and all contributions.

“It’s awesome, amazing,” Gaboury said. “Thanks for giving us the food. I’ve had so many comments from people. It’s really helping with their groceries right now. Many people aren’t working and they appreciate and need it.”

Jasper Food Recovery is open for food collection at the Anglican Church on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh