Year one of our partnership with Food Banks Canada
It’s officially been a year since we kicked off our partnership with Food Banks Canada (FBC)—and what a year it’s been. We set out to find a charitable partner with a strong national presence that makes an impact at a local level, and that’s exactly what we found in FBC. Our partnership allows for VersaCold Logistics Services to provide FBC with $150,000 of in-kind services per year—including transportation and storage of food—at any of our 29 warehouses across Canada.
In the past 12 months, Food Banks Canada used over $143,000 worth of services from VersaCold, with an even higher amount projected for 2019. That means food is being transferred safely and efficiently from donors to FBC. It means good, quality food is being consumed rather than wasted. And most importantly, it means Canadians who are in need of food are getting more access to it.
In fact, in 2018, VersaCold customers provided 364,000 meals to Canadians in need through donations made via our partnership with Food Banks Canada. With almost $50B of usable groceries ending up in landfills and the annual cost of wasted food nearing $1800 per household1, the effort to reduce food waste in Canada is an extremely important one. Products donated by VersaCold customers included those that are close to code, have old packaging or have been discontinued. The process is easy for customers and it gives them confidence that their unsaleable product is being put to good use.
Looking back on the early stages of the partnership, VersaCold’s goals and values seemed to fit perfectly with those of FBC. Mark Dienesch, VerseCold’s Chief Commercial Officer, shares why joining forces was a no-brainer:
“Food Banks Canada’s vision aligns with our purpose. Their national leadership helps us connect our employees and customers with local food banks, ensuring that quality food gets to Canadians in need, instead of going to waste. We are proud to offer our transportation and warehousing solutions to Food Banks Canada to help them achieve their goal of ensuring no one goes hungry.”
With coast-to-coast warehousing, VersaCold has been helping FBC with their nationwide needs. We saw this first-hand when a fire destroyed the Community Food Sharing Association, which supplies many food banks in Newfoundland. The devastation impacted the entire community and left the warehouse with absolutely no food. We chatted with Ray Hanlon, VersaCold’s Manager of Warehousing Solutions in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland about how his team rallied together to help out.
“When they had the fire, I reached out to their warehouse to see how we could help. At the time, our warehouse was at 108% capacity, with more product loads on their way in. I asked our team if we could accommodate the food bank situation, and we all decided we were up for the challenge,” says Hanlon.
The local team made space to accept over 64,000 lb of frozen food to be distributed to food banks in the province, demonstrating the importance of community and partnership to VersaCold.
Along with transportation and warehousing services, VersaCold is able to contribute years of expertise in food logistics to assist Food Banks Canada. For example, we were able to help FBC improve food handling processes by having our
VP of Supply Chain Solutions & Product Innovation, Kirk Short, share best practices in logistics at Food Banks Canada’s National Food Operations Conference.
With food at the core of both partners, VersaCold and FBC are fuelled by the same values—safely delivering quality food to families across Canada and in doing so, reducing our country’s food waste. So it’s no surprise that we’ve found success in our partnership over the last year. We are excited for what lies ahead.
If you’re a current VersaCold customer and you’d like to learn more about donating food to Food Banks Canada, please reach out to your Business Development representative or contact our sales team at Sales@VersaCold.com. To donate to Food Banks Canada directly contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Janus, Andrea. “More than Half of All Food Produced in Canada is Lost or Wasted, report says.” CBC News. 17 Jan. 2019.