GOOD Soup Project Showcases the Power of Rescued Food

Food for Life’s Good Soup Project turns donations of rescued food into GOOD ready-to-eat meals that are accessible for all. It’s a much-needed solution that diverts surplus edible food from landfills while supporting friends and neighbours who are experiencing isolation, precarious housing, or other barriers that limit their access to good nutritious food.

Beginning with a bulk donation of turkeys and a surplus of mixed vegetables, the Good Soup Project started as a pilot funded by a private donor and in partnership with Nuvo Taste Kitchen. “Thanks to funding from the Federal Government Emergency Funding we were able to secure a kitchen at our partner the Connect Centre in Milton and bring the project in house” says Graham Hill, Executive Director at Food for Life.

“The Good Soup Project allows us to use food we otherwise wouldn’t be able to turn into an edible product,” says Graham, noting that some items, including turkeys, are difficult to distribute through Food for Life’s unique system. Each soup container provides two good-sized bowls of goodness for approximately $1.33 a meal. The project is cost-effective and having a huge impact on those in the Halton community experiencing hunger, especially during COVID-19.

“Every person at some point doesn’t want to or can’t cook,” says Hill. “Maybe they’re under-housed or marginally housed. Maybe they are cooking on a hot plate or microwave or don’t have access to a kitchen. People may have physical or mental health challenges that inhibit their ability to make their own meals,” he says. Quick, healthy grab-and-go meals can be especially important to isolated seniors who can’t risk going shopping during the pandemic.

“The Good Soup Project gives people a chance to experience first-hand the quality of the food we are rescuing and sharing to community.”

The project requires innovation and creativity. “You have to be able to take whatever the warehouse has and turn it into good food and nutritious meals,” said Chef Melani Bastien and Ken Samuel who have both joined the Food for Life team to lead the Good Soup and Good Meals programs thanks to the federal funding.

“The Good Soup Project is an opportunity for people to understand how much food goes to waste,” says Hill. “It blows people’s minds!” Last year, over 4 million pounds of good surplus food was collected and distributed by Food for Life. “The Good Soup Project gives people a chance to experience first-hand the quality of the food we are rescuing and sharing to community.”

More than just support during Covid-19, Hill says the Good Soup Project is a huge opportunity for Food for Life to help people move out of poverty. As an emerging social enterprise thanks to the support of United Way Halton and Hamilton, they are building on the momentum to create something really special. He says that the Good Soup project will become a vehicle for people to learn culinary skills that will lead to employability.

Hill is especially excited that Food for Life is aligning the Good Soup Project to Empty Bowls At Home, a collaborative fundraising event between Home Suite Hope and Food for Life that will support bringing fresh food and literacy to disadvantaged single parents aged 17-24 throughout Halton. Ticket purchases will include a delicious soup kit filled with four tasty soups prepared by local chefs, plus a special chance to try one a special sample of the GOOD SOUP, all delivered to your home on October 25.

“People will love the Good Soup as it uses healthy good food made with passion and love,” says Bastien. “It makes me very happy that we’re able to do this and help make our communities hunger-free”.

If you want to support this project that allows Food for Life to showcase the power of rescued food, consider making a donation that helps support the staff, and purchase much-needed materials, including takeaway soup containers.

After all, nothing says comfort like a good bowl of soup!

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