Food Stash Foundation: Enhancing food security, tackling climate change

Project Change Foundation is delighted to announce that Food Stash Foundation is our 2023 grant recipient. This Vancouver-based charity will receive $2,000 and a year of advisory support and mentorship.

Founded in 2016, Food Stash tackles climate change and food security challenges by rescuing surplus food from farms, wholesalers and grocery stores and redirecting it to 35 charity partners as well as 110 families through its Rescued Food Box delivery program and hundreds of community members via its pay-what-you-feel Rescued Food Market. The programs provide groceries to those who face barriers to accessing food due to challenges such as homelessness, substance abuse, low-income, and/or chronic health conditions or disabilities. In August 2022, the dedicated team behind the foundation rescued 96,761 pounds of food, its highest monthly amount yet.

“Food Stash has a two-fold mission: reduce the environmental harm caused by food waste and bridge the food insecurity gap in our community,” says Maddie Hague, Food Stash’s community and sustainability manager.

That’s a focus that clearly piqued the interest of the majority of the 400+ people who voted during the public voting process to select the 2023 grant recipient out of six finalists. (Our thanks to everyone who participated in the selection process!)

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission accountability is an important part of Food Stash’s operations. While redistributing healthy food that could otherwise end up in a landfill is a demonstrable way to reduce waste and emissions, Food Stash takes it a step further, understanding their own rescue activities have an impact as well.

Food Stash uses “greenhouse gas accounting” to track which of its activities produce the greatest emissions, Hague says. “Now we can make more informed decisions around how to prioritize our very limited resources to expand our social impact while cutting GHG emissions.” The charity set out to become a national leader in climate accountability in 2022.

Food Stash will apply its $2,000 grant from Project Change Foundation to incentivize other food rescue nonprofit leaders to learn how to apply greenhouse gas accounting to their own operations as well as compensate organization representatives for their time spent on collaborative learning and sharing, Hague says. The mentorship will help Food Stash develop a long-term roadmap to keep those efforts ongoing well past 2023.

Project Change Foundation’s grant will also help Food Stash increase its visibility and expand opportunities for community engagement and strategic partnerships. While working with Project Change Foundation over the next year, Food Stash aims to bring on more food donors and work with them to reduce food waste further, support more charitable organizations with donations of healthy food and serve more households through its Rescued Food Box delivery program. Continuing to develop partnerships and initiatives that make the charity’s food rescue work even more environmentally and socially beneficial is also on the menu.

“By working with Project Change Foundation we hope to better illuminate the relationship between food rescue, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change and set our organization and others on a path to major emission reductions.”

Congratulations to Hague and the entire Food Stash Foundation team. Keep an eye on your inbox to follow Food Stash’s journey over the next year via Project Change Foundation’s quarterly newsletter.

Read more about Food Stash Foundation on their website.