Feed bel­lies...not land­fills

Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine - - Contents - By TIM ZWART – AC­TON, ON

Th­ese need not be grand ges­tures or pub­lic spec­ta­cles and can of­ten take the form of seem­ingly be­nign and self­less acts in our day-to-day lives.

Many of us do­nate to char­ity, get in­volved in cor­po­rate fundrais­ing events or sup­port the less for­tu­nate by adding an ex­tra dol­lar or two to our bill at the lo­cal check­out line. To help a per­son in need is as sim­ple and self­less an act as one can un­der­take, and yet, very few of us truly un­der­stand the need in our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties or the im­pact of our gen­eros­ity. But what if you could have a last­ing im­pact ev­ery time you sat down to eat? For Chef Jag­ger Gor­don, cre­at­ing such last­ing im­pacts is es­sen­tial.

From the mo­ment you meet Gor­don you can de­tect some­thing different about the man. As gen­uine a per­son as you’re ever go­ing to talk to, Gor­don has em­barked on a one-man cru­sade to rid Canada of hunger. His pas­sion on the sub­ject has led to the cre­ation of a revo­lu­tion­ary pro­gram called Feed the Future, the new­est ven­ture un­der his Feed it For­ward ini­tia­tive.

“Ev­ery year, Canada throws away $31 bil­lion worth of ed­i­ble food,” Gor­don says. “And I’d rather fill bel­lies, not land­fills.” His so­lu­tion is a sim­ple one: don’t let any food go to waste. Un­der our cur­rent sys­tem, a stag­ger­ing 40% of all food pro­duced in Canada is thrown out or dis­carded, and once it finds its way to a bin or dump­ster, it is of no use to any­one. Gor­don and his team at­tempt to “res­cue” as much of this food as they can, and then use it to cre­ate nu­tri­tious, restau­rant-qual­ity meals for Uni­ver­sity of Toronto (UofT) stu­dents in need.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study, nearly four in ten post-sec­ondary stu­dents are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing some level of hunger or mal­nu­tri­tion, of­ten sac­ri­fic­ing their cur­rent health for their aca­demic future. Team­ing up with The Uni­ver­sity of Toronto In­ter­na­tional Health Pro­gram (UTIHP) and the In­sti­tute for Global Health and Equal­ity (IGHEI), this new pi­lot pro­gram seeks to ad­dress-and ul­ti­mately elim­i­nate-the is­sue of hunger on cam­pus, al­low­ing stu­dents to fo­cus on their class sched­ules, test­ing re­sults and over­all per­for­mance.

And now, you can be part of the so­lu­tion. For a sim­ple $5 do­na­tion, you can pur­chase Chef Gor­don-ap­proved meals for your­self or some­body in need. Sim­ply go to www.feedthe­fu­ture.ca, browse through avail­able meals, click on the one you like, and let the Feed the Future team do the rest. Your se­lected meal is then de­liv­ered bi-weekly straight to cam­pus, at no ad­di­tional charge.

But this no­ble team of food res­cue he­roes doesn’t stop there. Through do­na­tions and vol­un­teers, EV­ERY pur­chase is then matched by Feed the Future, who then do­nates an ad­di­tional meal to a stu­dent in need...for free! Th­ese con­ve­nient frozen meals can be con­sumed by stu­dents un­able to af­ford food of their own (or the $5 do­na­tion), at their own pace, en­sur­ing that no UofT stu­dent will ever go hun­gry. No waste. No has­sle. And no eas­ier way to make a dif­fer­ence.

Re­spond­ing to hunger in the city the way Bat­man re­sponds to the Bat Sig­nal over Gotham, Gor­don’s work is tire­less, but re­ward­ing. His ef­forts have al­ready made a huge im­pact, and he has no plans to slow down any time soon. In fact, he’s just get­ting started. De­signs to ex­e­cute the world’s first zero-waste shop­ping cen­tre are al­ready un­der­way, and the crown jewel of his hunger-re­lated en­deav­ours is set to be un­veiled shortly: Canada’s very first pay­what-you-can gro­cery store!

In­spired to help out? Chef Jag­ger and his team are al­ways on the look­out for ed­i­ble do­na­tions and pro­gram spon­sor­ship. If you’d like to throw some fi­nan­cial weight be­hind this wor­thy cause, or have food or prod­ucts com­ing up on their op­ti­mal fresh­ness date, visit www.feed­it­for­ward.ca to learn how you can get in­volved. After all, the need for food is part of our com­mon hu­man­ity. And we can all make a dif­fer­ence.”

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