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Empire and Sobeys exceed food rescue goal for 2023

Grocer diverted 31 million pounds of surplus food to local charities last year
Jillian Morgan, female, digital editor for Canadian Grocer
empire x second harvest
Second Harvest recently recognized Empire subsidiary Sobeys Inc. with its Partner of the Year award for the second year.

Empire Co. Ltd. has surpassed its 2023 goal to divert 31 million pounds of surplus food from its operations to local charities across Canada.

Empire and Second Harvest have reduced and donated around 30 million meals annually since 2021. 

Diverted food comprised 42% produce, 15% dairy foods and 11% bread.

Second Harvest also recognized Empire subsidiary Sobeys Inc. with its Partner of the Year award for the second year.

The Sobeys Retail Service Centre in Whitby, Ont. was also awarded Second Harvest's Food Defender award.

"Our food rescue program in partnership with Second Harvest has tremendous and tangible impact by directly providing fresh and healthy food to those in our communities who currently rely on non-profit food charities to meet their family's grocery needs," said Kristi Lalach, SVP, legal andsSustainability, Empire, in a release. "In the three years since the partnership formed, we have been so proud to tackle surplus food to this scale – and every day we are humbled by the enthusiasm of our food rescue ambassadors who make this possible in our stores."

All of Empire's grocery banners including Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, Foodland, IGA West, FreshCo, IGA Quebec, as well as its distribution centres and e-commerce business, Voilà, participate by identifying and diverting food suitable for donation. 

The company's corporate objective is to reduce food waste in its national operations by 50% by 2025.

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