From left: George White, Alyssa Wright, Les Anderson, Miriam Leslie and Randall Bamford are all smiles at the Penticton’s Salvation Army Food Bank’s daily pick-up of food donations at the Save On Foods. The Penticton grocer has partnered with the food bank for its zero waste initiative, donating fresh food items for the local hamper program.                                Jordyn Thomson/Western News

From left: George White, Alyssa Wright, Les Anderson, Miriam Leslie and Randall Bamford are all smiles at the Penticton’s Salvation Army Food Bank’s daily pick-up of food donations at the Save On Foods. The Penticton grocer has partnered with the food bank for its zero waste initiative, donating fresh food items for the local hamper program. Jordyn Thomson/Western News

Penticton Save-On-Foods partners with food bank for zero waste

The local grocer is donating fresh food items for the Salvation Army’s Food Bank program

The Penticton Save-On-Foods has partnered with the Salvation Army Food Bank to implement its new zero waste initiative.

As of Nov. 5, the store has been donating fresh produce, meats, bakery items and other food to the food bank that would otherwise be destined for a landfill. The food that is still safe to consume is available to recipients of the food bank hampers and to residents who access the stocked fridge in the food bank’s lobby.

“Many of this food will go right into our fridge in the lobby, which can be accessed by anyone in need — they don’t have to register they can just help themselves,” said John Rankin, Penticton’s Salvation Army Food Bank manager. “We appreciate that now year-round we’ll have fresh produce and dairy and other things available to our clientele.”

Related: Thanksgiving food drive a success in the South Okanagan

Rankin said they help multiple organizations such as Save On Foods distribute food to those in need. According to Randall Bamford, Penticton’s Save-On-Foods manager, the store donates at least a full pallet of food items daily.

“John and his team there have stepped up to take all of this food off our hands, and it makes us feel better when we know it’s not going to a landfill,” said Bamford.

Rankin said he and his team thoroughly inspect all the food they receive, to ensure it is still safe to serve. If any food is deemed not for human consumption, it is offered up to area farmers for any livestock or compost purposes.

“We try to throw nothing out if possible,” said Rankin.

“As a company, we’ve gone with this direction of food waste diversion. So our motto is feed people, not landfills,” said Bamford. “Our zero waste goal is to surplus potentially wasted food and organics as a strategy for our company as we move forward. Save-On is committed to actively targeting food waste across all of the corporations and reducing current waste by 50 per cent by 2025.”

Related: Penticton’s temporary shelters are ready for cold nights ahead

Bamford said while they have only been running this initiative for two weeks, they are already excited about the future possibilities this allows for the store. He noted they had an idea before of what the store was throwing away, but they were surprised to see their dumping costs drop significantly with this initiative.

“Just by what we’re doing with John, we’re way over our goal of reducing our waste by 50 per cent for this location,” said Bamford. “We’re doing things at store level now that we didn’t before — for example we don’t let perishable items sit out before it is donated, it stays in a cooler so it protects the recipient on the other end. So we’re changing a lot of our operations here to make it work for John and his team.

“Just the good feeling of knowing this stuff is not going into a landfill is great. It’s also prompted us to look at other things that we aren’t recycling here, so this has gotten us jazzed up. Like looking paper and packaging where we weren’t pursuing many recycling options before, we can ramp that up as well.”

Bamford noted that “the pressure to reduce waste in this city is not as apparent as it is in other cities” and he is thankful that they were able to partner with Penticton’s Salvation Army Food Bank to make this program possible.

To report a typo, email:

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Participants are encouraged to light a candle and watch the streamed event from home as speakers honor the lives of those lost to overdose from Gyro Bandshell in Penticton April 14, 2021. (Facebook photo)
Vigil for 5th anniversary of B.C. overdose crisis to be held in Penticton

To honor the lives lost to the overdose crisis and bring a call of action to policymakers

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will speed up the process for hospitality businesses looking to set up patios during the latest COVID-19 restrictions. Under the most recent restrictions, indoor dining is prohibited, but patio dining is allowed. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen speeds up patio permit approval

Initiative to help hospitality businesses affected by latest COVID-19 restrictions

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

The Town of Oliver’s Town Offices, which the town wants to get designated a heritage site. (Black Press)
Oliver council to weigh nixing alerts for water leaks

Staff say the policy has served its purpose in fixing the majority of leaks

A small wildfire near Apex Mountain was added to B.C. WIldfire’s dashboard April 8, 2021. (B.C. Wildfire)
Small wildfire near Apex Mountain under control

2021 has seen an early start to the wildfire season

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Buckingham Palace officials say Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Alastair Grant
Flags drop, bells toll as Canadians remember special relationship with Prince Philip

‘He was often portrayed as a brisk or brusque, rough character… but it’s that other side of him, the caring individual who spent time with people and asked questions and showed compassion’

Vernon Secondary School. (Google Maps)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

VSS exposure announced late Friday, April 9

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

The Royal’s 1951 visit to Revelstoke. (Photo by Revelstoke Museum and Archives #17)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip visited Revelstoke – twice

The prince died April 9 at the age of 99

Nolan's Pharmasave in downtown Vernon received 200 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines Friday, April 9, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
AstraZeneca vaccines arrive at Vernon pharmacies

Four pharmacies in the city received doses of the COVID-19 inoculant Friday

Most Read