Megan Clarke, 29 years old, knows all too well what it’s like to go hungry. She found herself on her own as a teenager, struggling to get by on minimum wage, what they call working poor. That is poor enough that she couldn’t afford proper food, but employed enough that she was denied food bank services in the Montreal area. Underweight and malnourished, frustrated by all the food waste going to landfills while she lived off crackers and peanut butter, Megan worked four jobs to pull herself out of poverty and put herself into school.
Now she is studying human relations and sustainability at Montreal’s Concordia University while striving to reduce food waste by feeding those in need with leftovers from school events and on-campus food services. She wants to help people avoid going through what she did, while also helping the environment, by diverting food from the landfill into hungry bellies.
A study released earlier this year found 58 per cent of all food produced in Canada — 35.5 million tonnes — is lost or wasted, and about a third of that wasted food could be “rescued” and sent to communities in need. Leftover sandwiches, soups or appetizers from any catered event at the school can now easily be donated. Someday soon, that food may also end up in a communal fridge on campus that she’s helping to establish so students will be able to access the food as needed.
But while that aspect of the program is still in development, they have found other ways for the community to exchange their excess or left-over food; a Facebook Page: Food Sharing – The Potluck Project. Which allows people to comment their food they have to give, along with a picture, and where it can be picked up. Then once the pickup has been arranged and carried out a comment should be left to let others know the food has been claimed. Initiated in mid-November, nearly 300 people have joined the group in a month and members have been busy sharing food on a first-come, first-serve basis. Concordia’s Food Cycle program already donated 10 bins of food to the group.
It’s community building, hunger solving, environmentally friendly. It’s brilliant, beautiful, and it’s your Good News Story of the Day with so much more to learn; read about it here. Hundreds of people have learned to share their food simply by using a Facebook group, and a university has contributed to the community in more ways than expected. God bless all those people who don’t have to be hungry, thanks to the efforts of Megan Clarke.
Story and Image from the CBC.