Soup-er duper: Farm to Food program to serve up 2 million bowls

The Unemployed Help Centre received a $750,000 Trillium grant over three years for a Farm to Food pilot program. The program, if successful, will be replicated across the country.

'We really wanted to rescue more food than we were'

The Unemployed Help Centre has rescued 16 million pounds of food since 2012. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Two million servings of soup a year will be made in Windsor starting April 1, 2019.

The Unemployed Help Centre received a $750,000 Trillium grant over three years for a Farm to Food pilot program. The program, if successful, will be replicated across the country. 

Two million servings of soup a year will be made in Windsor starting April 1, 2019. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Unemployed Help Centre CEO Jane Muir says she's been talking to the food bank association for a long time.

"I spoke to them about the produce that goes to waste and that we could make it into soup," said Muir. "Feed everyone in Essex County and then offer it up the highway."

The Ontario Association of Food Banks will receive $75,000 of the grant to assist with delivering the soup made in Windsor elsewhere in the province. 

"We really wanted to rescue more food than we were," said Muir, adding that the UHC has rescued 16 million pounds of food since 2012. "We needed more volunteers to be able to take more produce to make soup."

The grant funding mostly goes to pay for a Red Seal chef and two staff members, along with a specialized flash freezer. 

"We could not make the soup if we didn't have the freezer," said Muir. A Red Seal chef was required under terms of the Trillium grant.

The Unemployed Help Centre received a $750,000 Trillium grant over three years for a Farm to Food pilot program. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

Food Banks Canada will evaluate the program to determine if it can be recreated elsewhere. 

Muir said getting the news was a "happy day."

"This feels good to really get it into the homes of children and adults who really need to enjoy a nutritional bowl of soup."

  • Read more about CBC Windsor's 2018 Sounds of the Season campaign 

With files from Katerina Georgieva and Tony Doucette