In Toronto, they have just opened the world's first pay-what-you-can grocery store, aptly named the Feed It Forward store. The shelves are fully stocked, and surprisingly, they are filled with nothing but food that was about to get thrown away.
The store "sells" foods that have been donated by larger grocery stores. These larger outfits are not allowed to sell these products, but Feed It Forward can.
Larger stores throw away this massive amount of product just because it is bruised or misshapen in one way or another. Nevertheless, the food is completely edible.
In other cases, the foods are donated because they are too close to the expiration date, and these grocery stores aren't allowed to stock them anymore. Shockingly, "too close to expiry" could be as long as several months.
In other cases, the food is thrown out because there isn't enough space to store it. Such produce is perfectly fine but still designated for landfills.
At Feed It Forward, customers can fill up their baskets then pay what they can afford for the contents.
What If You Don't Have Any Cash?
In case you fill up your basket and don't have a dime to pay for it, you will still walk out of the store with something.
However, there is a rule that you only take a day's worth of groceries. This ensures that the store remains stocked to keep serving other people in need.
Those who can afford it can actually pay for other people's groceries.
Chef Jagger Gordon is the brains behind this innovative grocery store. Gordon is a well-known advocate for the reduction of food waste and the feeding of the hungry.
The inspiration to begin this initiative dates back to the year 2014. At the time, he was running his own catering company.
He was shocked at the amount of good food that ended up in trash cans. After realizing the immense potential to use this food for good, he began opening some popup kitchens across Toronto.
These joints focused on giving away nutritious meals made using the salvaged ingredients.
How The Idea Took Shape
In the year 2016, Gordon was in the headlines after he served 600 hot meals to residents on Christmas Eve. In 2017, he opened the first pay-what-you-can restaurant in Toronto.
Besides starting these initiatives, Gordon is trying to get people to sign a petition that will force legislators in Canada to revise their food laws. While speaking to the media, the chef had this to say:
"The concept behind the store is showcasing how Canadians can utilize the food that's destined for landfills: perfectly edible food that shouldn't be thrown out and can be filling the empty bellies of our citizens."
Those who want to donate to the nonprofit can sign Gordon's petition or even volunteer their services at the grocery store.
Feed It Forward also has a website, and you can pay it a quick visit and see what this initiative is all about or how you can help.