The Canadian Produce Marketing Association will assist in the delivery of the Surplus Food Rescue Program developed by the Canadian government.

The association is part of a network that will collaborate across industry, charity and indigenous organizations to distribute surplus food in Canada’s supply chain and match it through CPMA’s partner Second Harvest and FoodRescue.ca, according to a news release.

The organizations support Canada’s most vulnerable populations and people who just started needing emergency food donations since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

To ensure all Canadians are supported, 10% of the program’s food will go to northern communities, CPMA chairman Davis Yung said in the release. 

Food waste is an even bigger problem today with the increased need, Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest, said in the release. 

“So many of our Canadian farmers are facing food surpluses right now — and this initiative will ensure perishable food is matched and distributed to local community groups that directly feed countless Canadians,” Nikkel said.

Charities, community groups, food banks and other food hubs can register at FoodRescue.ca to become a distribution point.

The project will distribute about 13 million pounds of food, including fresh produce, CPMA president Ron Lemaire said in the release. 

The first focus will be on the most perishable foods and foods that need to be processed quickly, he said.

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