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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Shift Delivery Worker Co-op/Food Stash Foundation

Getting around Vancouver is becoming increasingly difficult as cars and trucks clog the streets, adding to carbon emissions, noise and frustration. But just look up for a minute and you’ll see a revolution rolling by courtesy of Shift Delivery Coop. With its fleet of pedal powered trikes and electric cargo vehicles, Shift is moving goods across the city in a sustainable way.  As a worker-coop, Shift is owned by its members and is democratically governed, giving meaningful employment to its team.

Shift is always innovating and growing through new projects and collaborations. One example is using the coopcycle.org platform to establish a separate restaurant meal and goods delivery service in the Commercial Drive, Gastown, Chinatown and Strathcona neighbourhoods. The other initiative is being part of the new cargo e-bike micro hub project for Vancouver. Business team lead Devan McLelland explains.

Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story was the inspiration for Vancouver teacher David Schein to reduce food waste and feed the hungry. So in 2016, he began rescuing food from local grocers and with a group of volunteers, packed it into boxes of food for nine families. By October 2017, the Food Stash Foundation became a registered charity and today it rescues over 70,000 lbs of food per month, redistributing it to more than 20 partner charities and 100 members who receive weekly food boxes. These efforts are even more vital as food insecurity has been rising steadily over the past number of years made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former Executive Director Julia Hunter says the food that is rescued would have otherwise been wasted for a variety of reasons including imperfect produce, best before date reached, day-old grain products or items that are not selling fast enough. Ensuring this food does not end up in landfills helps reduce the production of methane which is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases are also emitted in the production and transportation of food. That’s why Food Stash partners with Shift Delivery Coop to deliver its rescued food boxes to members using the Pedal to Plate program. In June 2021 alone, the 74,019 lbs of perishable food rescued saved 63,791 kg of CO2 emissions. Have a listen.

Listen to the episode at Each For All

 

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