New Democrat MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau (Berthier – Maskinongé) tabled a motion in the House of Commons to make reducing food waste a top priority.
“The government must show leadership to reduce food waste and promote more sustainable food production methods—it’s critical to raise public awareness,” said Brosseau. “Data on food waste are alarming and it’s time to address the problem.”
Each year, an estimated 27 billion dollars’ worth of food goes to landfills and composting in Canada alone. More than a third of the average Canadian’s groceries end up in the garbage every week while 800,000 people visit a food bank every month.
The NDP motion seeks to declare October 20th as National Day Against Food Waste, reduce waste by facilitating the donation of safe, unsold food to community organizations and food banks and reduce the environmental impact of this waste.
“Acquiring and sharing food with Canadians in need is critical to the work of food banks in addressing hunger in Canada,” said Katharine Schmidt, the Executive Director. “Food Banks Canada supports this motion with the hopes of raising awareness of the issue of hunger and increasing the availability of safe quality surplus food so individuals and families don’t have to go hungry.”
The motion reads as follows:
That, in the opinion of the House, the Government should: (a) declare October 20th of each year National Day Against Food Waste; (b) develop a comprehensive pan-Canadian plan to reduce food waste by (i) educating Canadians about food waste through a national campaign, (ii) facilitating the donation of safe, unsold food from the private sector to community organizations and food banks; (iii) putting in place various other measures to reduce the environmental impact resulting from the production of unused food.