MONTREAL — La Tablée des Chefs and its partners have introduced the second phase of the Solidarity Kitchens initiative, which will produce more than 500,000 meals for Canadian food banks, with production predominantly in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg.
La Tablée des Chefs, a charity with a mission to fight food insecurity and educate young people to develop their food autonomy, launched Solidarity Kitchens at the start of the pandemic after the organization was approached by farmers, hotels, large venue sites, restaurants and suppliers looking to donate food that would have gone to waste. Through the initiative, the food was instead delivered to revived kitchens to be cooked and frozen.
This initiative has already made a significant impact — Quebec food banks and community organizations across the province have had two million meals cooked and delivered from April to December 2020 —and was made possible with the support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s $1.3 million in funding.
“It’s been inspiring to see how Solidarity Kitchens has already helped so many vulnerable Canadians during the pandemic,” says Jean-François Archambault, CEO & founder of La Tablée des Chefs. “We want to sincerely thank all of our valued partners for their support in bringing this initiative to life and joining us in the fight against food insecurity.”
The meals being produced are primarily made with chicken, ground veal, eggs and a variety of vegetables from producers, processors and partners within the Canadian food industry. They are then delivered to charitable food banks and distribution hubs across the country, including the Calgary Food Bank, Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Harvest Manitoba, Second Harvest and the Vancouver Food Bank.
“The pandemic has led to an increased need for prepared, take-away meals from our non-profit and charitable agency network across the country, who have had to change how they provide food to their communities in order to limit the spread of COVID-19,” says Lori Nikkel, CEO, Second Harvest. “Vital initiatives like the Solidarity Kitchens project are helping to address this need and we are pleased to support them by providing rescued food donations and distribution services to the food banks and meal programs in our network.”
The Solidarity Kitchens that participated in making these meals were paid $1 per meal to ensure chefs and valuable workers in the hospitality industry are supported during this difficult time.
“This initiative by La Tablée des Chefs will help many residents in need of a meal during these challenging times as the pandemic has exacerbated the need for more support and food security. Through this new initiative we can ensure that no food is being wasted and that we are feeding residents who need help right now,” says Toronto Mayor John Tory.