OKM Student Making Change!

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OKM Student Making Change!

Justin Kulik, Director of Web and Communications; Editor, News

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Wholesale and retail food waste in Canada sends $31 Billion of unsold but still edible food into landfills. At the same time, 4 million Canadians are food insecure, of which, 1.5 million are children. A fix to both would be to require through government legislation that this unsold but still edible food go to foodbanks rather than landfills. In 2015, the Government of France did just that. Now, there is call for the same in Canada.

A petition on change.org created by an OKM student was created to ask the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food of Canada, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay to create a federal program requiring the same. As of March 1st, 2018, the petition has 74 435 signatures to date.

The petition has already gained media coverage on Castanet, based out of Kelowna, and News1130 out of Vancouver. In addition, Ruth Ellen Brosseau, Member of Parliament for Berthier-Maskinongé, NDP House Leader, and Deputy NDP Critic of Agriculture and Agri-food has shown her support and has published an open letter to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food expressing her opinions and support. The Minister has yet to respond.

“The overwhelming support of the public and growing support of media and politicians is a huge step towards creating this change,” said petition creator and OKM student Justin Kulik. He has also reached out to the Member of Parliament for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, Alistair MacGregor who currently serves as the NDP Critic for Agriculture and Agri-food hoping for his endorsement and support.

After looking at the program currently in place in France, which was created due to a petition on the same platform, as well as Quebec requiring unsold food to be donated, Kulik believes that this change can and will come to all of Canada. In an interview with News1130, Kulik is quoted as saying “to be able to say that something so simple can happen within one province of Canada, I really do believe they can happen everywhere”.

The petition and its updates can be found here. He is asking supoorters to share using the #WhyWasteFood and #FoodDeservesBetter.