September 2016 News Archive

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Set food free with a free lunch

September 19, 2016 11:20 AM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

The City of Red Deer, Red Deer College (RDC) and the Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA) have teamed up to set food free and will be serving up a free lunch at Feed 500 Red Deer on September 22.

Originating in London, England, Feeding the 5000 is a global movement that sheds light on the issue of food waste. The idea is simple: feed 5000 people – or 500 in the case of Red Deer – with food that would otherwise be thrown away - think imperfect produce, food that’s almost reached its best-before date and mislabeled food.

“Canadians throw out over 300 million meals a year, and food waste is one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions in the landfill,” said Lauren Maris, Environmental Program Specialist, City of Red Deer. “Reducing waste, including food waste, is a key component of our Environmental Master Plan, and Feed 500 is a great way to educate residents on how to reduce their waste.”

At Feed 500 Red Deer, students from all three levels of Red Deer College’s Cook Apprentice program will prepare and serve food made entirely from food rescued from local growers, producers and grocery stores. The Cook Apprentices are planning to prepare four different menu items but, as part of the excitement of the event, the final menu can only be determined once they have received all of the rescued ingredients.

“This will be such a positive opportunity for our students to learn outside of their regular curriculum,” said Garnett Schoettler, Instructor with RDC’s Cook Apprentice program. “Feed 500 Red Deer is a very unique event, and it will take a lot of planning, preparation and teamwork. This event will provide a great experience for our Cook Apprentice students to showcase their culinary skills as they make delicious dishes from a variety of rescued food items.”

In addition to serving a free lunch for 500 people, the goal of Feed 500 Red Deer is to divert 100 kg of food from the landfill.

“Food waste accounts for 50 per cent of waste worldwide, taking up unnecessary space in landfills,” said Christina Seidel, Executive Director, Recycling Council of Alberta. “The RCA wants to educate Alberta’s residents on the importance and impact wasted food has on our environment and we hope Feed 500 will help Albertan’s understand how they can take action to reduce their waste.”

Residents are invited to enjoy the free lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (or until the food runs out) on September 22, in City Hall Park. It is also World Car Free Day so Red Deer Transit will also be free for the day. There will also be bike corrals at City Hall, so it’s a great day to try out alternative transportation.

For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact:

Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer

Jeff Maser
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Red Deer College

Christina Seidel
Executive Director
Recycling Council of Alberta

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