Project Description


Project Mission

The Food Rescue Project will address the ever-growing issues of food insecurity and hunger in the Capital Region by directing high-quality, fresh food donated by local grocery retailers to low income people and families.

Food Rescue Project – 2017 Impact

The Food Rescue Project has been operating since March, 2017 and has had a significant impact on how FSN members serve their communities.  The Mustard Seed Street Church is operating the Food Rescue Project through the Food Security Distribution Centre.

The project scope has extended beyond people with emergency food and is reaching new, vulnerable populations.  Food collected is being re-directed to meet the needs of low-income, food insecure people, including those who do not frequent food banks or other non-profit food access points.

55 FSN members are participating in the Food Rescue Project

Approximately 10,000 lbs of high-quality food are being collected and re-distributed every day

Participating FSN members use the fruit, vegetables and dairy to support the work that they are doing in their community.  The FSN strives to connect high quality food to low-income residents in the Capital Region through non-profit agencies.

We are working closely with our members to reach vulnerable seniors, youth, children, and families, as well as Indigenous communities, homeless populations, and schools where insufficient access to nutritious perishable food is affecting the mental, physical, and social health of our neighbours.

35,000 people/month are directly benefiting from the Food Rescue Project

32,000 people/month are benefiting indirectly from the Food Rescue Project

“We are so thankful to be involved in this project. It is crazy the amount of food waste we have in our community and we are more then happy to be part of that solution.”
Food Share Network Member Agency
“Food Rescue has been an excellent resource and key component to our expanding local healthy food systems education programs. Food security has been increased for a broad spectrum of students, including several from food insecure households.”
Food Share Network Member Agency
“Thank you to the Food Share network for allowing the members of our Society the opportunity to get fresh veggies and fruit. Many of our members live on fixed incomes (OAP & GIS) and to purchase these items is a real hardship. Allowing them to add the fresh produce to their diet is a real treat.”
Food Share Network Member Agency
“In our Agency we are supporting our Families, Seniors, and individuals that attend our programs, they are now able to have a healthy food option available to them on a weekly basis. Better health and support as a community.”
Food Share Network Member Agency
The Food Recovery Project is a true testament to the power of community collaboration. The leadership has been outstanding. The team have worked tirelessly to stay true to the vision that is the cornerstone of the Food Share Network – that together we can make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.
“The Project and has instilled in me a real sense of pride to see what is possible when people come together over a common purpose – it takes faith, trust and support to realize such an immense goal and I also like to think it takes ‘respect’. Being able to drive up to the warehouse and source out much needed resources for our programs is a pleasure. Staff are very supportive, encouraging and helpful. We are blessed to have this project in our community and have it run with such care and compassion.”

Here is what some of the participants had to say about the Food Rescue Project:

“Mary” is a senior living in subsidised seniors housing, in the past as a younger person she was a cook.  Preparing and serving meals to others was a source of pleasure and pride.  With aging, having limited income the ability to share food was no longer possible for her.  It was one more loss that she had experienced with getting older and change of circumstance.  “Mary” keeps to herself, occasionally checking in with the on site program offered by our agency, but always staying to the sideline.  Recently with the bounty of food received weekly from the Mustard Seed and the Food Recovery Program she was able to take a good bag of groceries and cooked some meals she delivered to some of the other residents and is now making this a regular weekly event.   The impact of this program goes beyond food and nutrition, the value for individuals at any age of “being of service” to others builds self worth, esteem and community.  “Being of service” for seniors who feel alone and discarded – nurtures the soul’

“Having access to the produce on a weekly basis helps to provide for our family.”

“The veggies and fruit is so appreciated and really helps out financially. HYCH-KA- SEIM”

What a joy it was to watch and linger while folks filled their bags – and ran to get their neighbours. One woman came from her nearby patio and, in her own words, ‘found tonight’s supper’. (Corn on the cob, potatoes, carrots, lettuce and cucumbers.) Two residents ‘shopped’ for themselves – and for their neighbours – then, when there was still copious amounts of tomatoes and onions left, asked if they could make salsa in the communal kitchen.  The salsa was shared with the residents and was the first time in years the kitchen was used for this purpose.  “Ann” has lived there for 2 years and confides that she has never cooked in the time she has lived there.  Making the salsa was her idea!’

“Dear Food Share Network.  I’d like to extend my heartfelt appreciation for the gift and blessing you’ve provided with your donation of fresh produce.  What a difference it makes, and its reassuring to know that someone cares to provide this.  I am able to eat healthier as I was seldom able to afford produce on my limited income.  Thank you so very much”

“It is so nice to receive this food. To know that at least once a month I don’t have to walk to go and get food because sometimes I just can’t…”

I could not afford fresh produce and fruit without the help of the program


None of this work could have taken place without the vision and support of our generous funders: the Victoria Foundation and the Rotary Clubs of Greater Victoria and our partner grocers, including Thrifty Foods, Country Grocer, Fairway Market, the Red Barn Market, and the Rootcellar.  

In 2015 the Rotary Clubs of Victoria banded together as “Rotarians for Food Rescue” and all of the proceeds from their car raffle were donated to this project.

The Rotary Clubs of Victoria continue to support the Food Rescue Project with their volunteer and fundraising efforts. Local grocery retailers are donating nutritious fruit, vegetables, and dairy to the Food Rescue Project. The Victoria Foundation is continuing to support this project by connecting visionary donors with innovative, long-term solutions.