Watch a short video of Red Deer's Food For Friends Pilot Project
Food for Friends provides financial services to those needing emergency food support. The service includes basic financial support in the form of a food card, and if desired education to teach people how to choose nutrient dense foods and training on how to best utilize that food.
The Food for Friends food card model efficiently connects people with the food they need by providing them access to the grocery store. We are an organization that has implemented a progressive way to redistribute food for people, experiencing food insecurity, in our community. Our organization does not directly distribute food, this is a redistribution of food equity, in terms of who gets what kinds of food. This means that lower income families now have more opportunities to buy their groceries in the same line up as those who are food secure.
The card participants receive is similar to a debit card, that has an approved value attached, which then allows the individual to purchase tax exempt food items from participating merchants. Food for Friends empowers the individual to purchase the food they want and that meets their family’s dietary needs in a manner that allows them to maintain their dignity and choice of product.
Food for Friends embraces a poverty reduction strategy that provides financial services for those experiencing food insecurity and augments with food security services in Red Deer as a whole. The food card will provide people with access to a grocery store through a discrete, efficient and progressive service. Food for Friends embraces a progressive approach to food distribution that empowers people, provides access to nutritious food and is an efficient process.
That everyone in Red Deer will have easy and equal access to the grocery store and will be properly nourished. That no one in Red Deer will go hungry and everyone will understand basic nutrition and know about food preparation.
Ensure that everyone in Red Deer has the financial resources and knowledge of nutrition and food preparation to eliminate hunger and ensure proper nutrition.
Red Deer will be home of the second Food for Friends program in Canada, the first was in Woodstock Ontario, here is their story:
Instead of collecting and warehousing food and then giving it to people in need (whether it was the kind of food they wanted or needed or not), Operation Sharing set up a new program, called Food for Friends.
"We've marshalled millions of dollars in philanthropy and millions more hours in volunteer labour to create a food distribution system that duplicates much of the work grocery stores have already done".
Food for Friends was a two year pilot project in Red Deer, run by volunteers, and is no longer operational. However, I leave this web page up to help encourage the progression, conversation and facilitation for food equity and food security in our communities. I am very proud of the number of individuals and families that, as a group, we were able to provide substantial help to.
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