In little more than a year, a charitable organization in Windsor-Essex has diverted 226,796 kilograms of food from the landfill and used it to feed those in need.
Forgotten Harvest is a food rescue organization that takes fresh food that would otherwise go to waste and gives it to those who could not otherwise afford it.
Forgotten Harvest says there is an estimated 10 per cent of the population at or below the low-income cut-off.
'One in 10 people may not have the food they need.'— Marilyn Beckham, Forgotten Harvest
"Which means that if you're walking down the street, one in 10 people may not have the food that they need," said Marilyn Beckham, a director with the organization.
That's where Forgotten Harvest and large food producers and processors like Mastronardi Produce step in to help.
Mastronardi Produce has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds from its Sunset label.
Officials there say customers often have very specific measurements when it comes to the food they order. So if a cucumber isn't the perfect size, the customer doesn't want it.
That means the so-called "waste" can be donated.
Sometimes, producers have more available than can be sold.
"It could be a perfect storm of over-production because of fantastic weather. So instead of having produce dumped into landfills or waste it goes out to very needy organizations," said Chris Veillon of Mastronardi Produce.
Nearly 50 delivery sites
Forgotten Harvest has 44 regular delivery sites in Windsor-Essex.
"It has to happen quick when you're working with fresh food. You have to get it in and out quickly and that's why there's not a lot of storing and stuff involved at our shop," said Forgotten Harvest truck driver Harry Tofflemire.
Century Secondary School is one of the recipients.
One-quarter of the food the hospitality and tourism students use comes from Forgotten Harvest.
"It's a huge impact on our school and our program," said teacher Rosalind Stuebing. "It allows us to not only teach the students how to prepare the healthier choices but it allows us to offer them cheaper options at lunch."
At St. John Catholic elementary school in west Windsor, the fresh food is used at school and offered to kids to take home to their parents.
"It's a wonderful supplement to their own diet and we've also been able to introduce new fruits and veggies that they haven't had at home," Janet Bashura said..
Anyone who wants to to get involved with the charity can contact do so at its website.
People can also donate to CBC's Sounds of the Season food drive all through December.
On Dec. 14, people can drop off their goods and join in an open house at CBC Windsor at 825 Riverside Dr. W. between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.