Burlington, Ontario, CA Rescued and Surplus Food Market Combats Community Food Insecurity
On June 23, Food For Life deployed a Volanté Systems Self-Serve Kiosk at Mountainside Market in Burlington, Ontario. Mountainside Market is a rescued and surplus food market that increases community access to food rescued and distributed by the organization.
Food For Life is a Canadian food relief charity focusing on redistributing fresh, nutritious food. Providing low-income individuals and families with fresh healthy food that they may not otherwise have access to allows them to focus on obtaining other life essentials as they work towards no longer relying on Food For Life’s services.
The Mountainside Market at the organization’s warehouse in Burlington carries food donated from local farms, grocery stores, restaurants, and co-packers. “No food in this space is purchased… We have incredible volunteers that come and sort the food that we receive,” Food For Life Director of Impact and Research Donna Slater said.
Community partners Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, Elo Touch, Volanté, and Epson are proud supporters of this initiative. Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation has supported various Food For Life Initiatives. Elo Touch donated the 22” self-serve kiosk hardware with installed Volanté software, and Epson donated the receipt printer. Furthermore, Sodexo employees fundraised and found a donor to pay for the electronic scale.
Businesses give food for various reasons, including not having enough space for the overstock, broken packaging, or policies that dictate the need to replenish food faster than the date on the package.
“It’s all surplus food that’s good to eat,” said Food For Life Director of Operations, Melissa Bain. “We rescue it from numerous food industry partners and then get it out into the community as quickly as possible.”
The market’s layout is like that of a grocery store with fresh and frozen food including meat, bakery items, and fruits and vegetables.
Before leaving, visitors check out at the 22” Volanté Systems Self-Serve Kiosk by indicating the type of food chosen, weighing the food, and entering their customer number.
With Volanté software’s pre-defined reports, Food For Life found that neighbors are leaving with approximately 30 pounds of food on each visit. Twenty-two percent of their neighbors shop four times a month and approximately 289 unique households visited the market in July of 2022.
Any food not consumed goes to the onsite composter operations to reduce food waste and create the optimal garden compost for the community. Mountainside Market is an initiative that sustainably confronts food insecurity issues and climate change.
The success of this market is encouraging, and Food For Life is looking at other opportunities within the Halton Region of Ontario.
The idea of having the self-serve kiosk onsite surfaced from a conversation between the Sodexo and Food For Life teams at a volunteer day. Sodexo offers three paid volunteer days for its employees to contribute to the mission of the Stop Hunger Foundation.
“Volanté is proud to support Food For Life in its mission to provide lower-income individuals access to fresh and healthy food,” said Volanté Systems CEO, Sunil Selby.
Volanté Cloud Point-of-Sale Solutions empower operators with a detailed analytics dashboard and reporting tools, third-party support, meal plan and payroll deduction transactions, and digital ordering.
Read more about Food For Life and their other projects at FoodForLife.CA.
About Volanté Systems
Volanté Systems creates comprehensive and scalable point-of-sale solutions designed explicitly for Enterprises. We fulfill customer demands, show each user relevant information, prevent staff errors due to miscommunication, tailor the software system to needs, and provide payment flexibility. With office locations in Toronto, Ontario and Charlotte, North Carolina, Volanté is committed to working with stakeholders throughout food operations to bring ease and innovation to every point of sale. More information can be found at www.volantesystems.com.