Guest Blog: Modo Ambassador Heidi Kuhn introduces Foodstash
Heidi Kuhn is the owner of Mixers and Elixirs, a micro food business in East Vancouver producing small batch shrubs, also known as ‘drinking vinegars’. She’s been a Modo member since 2008 and has grown from using a carshare for the occasional shopping trip to using different vehicles for picking up supplies, making deliveries, and to get her to the local farmer markets. Heidi is passionate about local food initiatives – and loves making new connections to small local business like Foodstash.
As a small business owner very interested in the issue of food waste, I wanted to learn more about local organizations that were delving into the issue to create less waste and more food security. I spent a morning driving around with David Schein, the man who created and is running Foodstash Foundation, a registered charity that organizes pick ups of unused food about to be wasted and delivers food to in need organizations. Here’s a bit about how our day went.
I picked up David in a Modo cargo van. We really needed all that space for his brand new 90 litre coolers, and we had 7 places to pick up from that morning.
Our first stop was UBC Student Housing and Hospitality services. Here, Chef Chris Grosse is showing David trays of leftover cooked food from the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm fundraiser dinner put on by Joy of Feeding. A generous donation with a food stability of 1-2 days, David has to consider of the best place that could handle that size of a donation and be able to reheat the items.
We ended up with most of the trays of food from UBC going to Hailey who is the Food and Community Garden coordinator at Sorella Housing for Women. In her facility, she’ll be able to cook up some rice and serve it with the reheated stews to the residents and visitors of Sorella.
Next Stop is Glory Juice on 4th Ave, where the effervescent Camille is happy to help load juices, soups and salads that are one day from best before date for donation. All three locations of Glory Juice are donating to Foodstash multiple times a week, and David has a group of 20 volunteers that have regular pickups from 41 various donor businesses that deliver to 35 groups and organizations that are in need of fresh food.
Leaving Glory Juice, David runs into Laura Darcy who is part of the community outreach for Be Fresh Markets, where Foodstash has regular pickups. Laura introduces David to a roaster from 49th Parallel Coffee, and they chat about the possibility of setting up a pick up arrangement for the unsold donuts at the end of the day at their various coffee shop locations.
Wow—we’ve spent the better part of the morning picking up from regular donors including Beyond Bread, August Market, Dalina, and Virtuous Pie. The last drop off goes to Watari Latin American Outreach Program, run by Byron and Ingrid Mentez who deal with a variety of meals going to individuals and families.
It’s been a great day! David has put a lot of heart and soul into this organization and I was totally impressed with his can-do attitude. We can all do our part to create less food waste and build a greater understanding on how our food choices impact the environment and our health.
How can Modo members get involved?
First, this kind of organization relies on community support to cover expenses and any donations would be appreciated. As a registered charity, you can always request a receipt for your donation!
And second, Foodstash is looking for volunteers that can do regular daily or weekly pickups. They can find a time and day that works with your schedule. Send Foodstash an email firstname.lastname@example.org with your availability and you can prebook your Modo vehicle.