Embark Sustainability's Food Rescue Program Wins a 2019 City of Burnaby Environmental Star Award

May 23, 2019

Congratulations to Embark Sustainability’s Food Rescue program for winning an Environmental Star Award. The Food Rescue program has been recognized in the Green Choices category of the City of Burnaby’s Environmental Awards 2019. The awards acknowledge outstanding contributions from individuals, groups, organizations, institutions, and businesses advancing environmental sustainability and protecting and enhancing the natural environment in the City of Burnaby.

Food waste is a major environmental issue: 1/3 of food produced globally is wasted. This waste problem increases our carbon footprint. The Food Rescue program is a food recovery initiative that reduces food waste and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. The program also supports local food security for the community, including students in financial need. Since the program started in 2016 it has rescued 7,056kg of food. It rescued 2,719kg of food in 2018 alone, the weight equivalent of an adult female orca.

Food Rescue is run by Embark Sustainability, in collaboration with Nesters Market on the SFU Burnaby campus. Student volunteers collect healthy, edible but imperfect produce from Nesters Market. These items do not meet supermarket selling criteria and would otherwise go to waste. The volunteers conduct a second food safety check, and then distribute it for free at SFU Burnaby. Any food leftover from the stand (a rare occurrence!) is redistributed to the Simon Fraser Student Society’s Women’s Centre 24-hour lounge or university offices.

Visit the Food Rescue stand in Blusson Hall every Thursday from 12:30 – 14:30 (summer schedule).


“The Food Rescue program diverts thousands of kilos of food from a likely landfill fate each year. From my experience working in the food service industry, I have seen the kind of waste that is produced; instead that food can now be used, appreciated, and enjoyed by students, faculty, and staff." 

- Stephanie Elder, Food Rescue Volunteer & SFU Undergraduate Student.


"The Food Rescue program provides a unique opportunity to engage students in important conversations regarding the environmental impact of food waste and ways in which we can promote a societal paradigm shift towards recognizing the value of waste reduction in the local and global food system."

- Sumara Stroshein, Embark Food Systems Change Coordinator & SFU Undergraduate Student.