During my second year of my degree in Environmental Science, I was tired of talking about problems and not doing anything to help it. I started looking for practical opportunities to get in involved in sustainability. I’ve always been the type of person who had trouble sitting still. When I see a problem or have an idea, I have to take action.
Then, I noticed Embark doing outreach in the hallway one day. I was happy to find people who are like me, who are passionate about sustainability. I joined right away.
It was not too long before I learned about the Food Rescue Program and joined the volunteer team. Nesters gives their unsalable, yet edible produce to Embark on a weekly basis, which then is re-distributed to the SFU community at no cost. My first impression of the program was, "Wow I thought they only did that in documentaries! I can't believe I get to learn how this works and do it myself!"
I got along with everyone quickly. The people in this organization are wonderful. They are very funny, entertaining and incredibly supportive. I have made some wonderful friends and became more confident with the help of Embark.
One of the greatest feelings, is to see people’s smiles. I see the Nesters workers smile because they like that their food is not being wasted. I see students, staff, and faculty smile because they appreciate the free produce.
I’ve learned that Food Rescue has many more benefits:
The water that is used to make this produce is not wasted when the produce functions to feed people instead of being composted.
People accessing the program learn that "ugly" fruits and vegetables are still edible and some even better tasting than the nice looking fruits. I find that the riper fruits are more sweet.
Students are inspired to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets. It inspires people to eat less meat and try new foods.
Embark has taken a great step in sustainability and local food security, and I hope that the program can be an example of how recovering food waste could be successful. I encourage other communities to talk to their local stores and do the same.
Want to see more programming like this across SFU’s campuses? Vote YES in Embark’s upcoming referendum:
Undergraduates, go to www.elections.sfss.ca/vote-here to vote from November 15 (12 am) - November 17 (11:59 pm).
Graduate students, vote November 29 (8 am) - December 1 (11:30 am). Link will be provided.