British Columbia·WHAT'S YOUR STORY

New Westminster man takes food from grocery stores and gives it to charities

Danison Buan drives his car to Save on Foods and Donald's Market three times a week, and salvages food that is close to its expiration date. This story is part of a special CBC Vancouver News series, What's Your Story?

'It hurts a lot so I try and grab as much as I can to share it with people,' says Danison Buan

A New Westminster man is reducing food waste by picking up meat and produce that would be otherwise thrown out —and he is giving it those in need. 

Danison Buan drives his car to Save on Foods and Donald's Market three times a week. He salvages food that is close to its expiration date or is seen as damaged or flawed.

"People see a nick on an apple and see an apple that is perfect right beside it and they don't to purchase the apple with the nick," said Buan. 

Grocery stores would toss the imperfect produce into the organic compost and pay compost pick-up companies to dispose of them. 

A recent study found that $31 billion of food is wasted every year in Canada and when energy, water and other resource costs are factored in, the true cost could be up to three times that much. 

But for the past six months, Buan has been saving the produce from going to waste and saving grocery stores from paying the compost delivery companies. 

Buan says the perfectly edible food could go to those in need and that's why he drops off the food to three different charities in town. 

"Other places don't have the food and we have such an abundance that we are just throwing it away. It hurts a lot so I try and grab as much as I can to share it with people," he said. 

One of the charities he works with is Aunt Leah's Place, an organization that helps youth transition out of foster care. For the first time the organization is able to offer fresh produce and meat to the youth. 

"It's very expensive and not in the budget," said Angelina Oates, director of training and social enterprises at Aunt Leah's. 

"They get really excited to pick through the different kinds of meats," she said. 

Buan, a professional chef, also helps package the food he drops off to make sure those in need have fast and easy access to a healthy meal. 

"I want to make sure people do eat food, it is so important that everyone has the ability to eat," he said. 

He is trying to raise money to buy a van to be able to carry more food.

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