Too Good To Go provides students a cheaper alternative for food while lowering food waste

By: Neely Hammerberg

The average Canadian family wastes about $1,800 of food each year. Too Good To Go, a food rescue service, aims to help Canadians reduce that food waste and save money.

“We dream of a planet where no food is wasted,” said Sarah Soteroff, public relations manager for Too Good To Go.

The Danish company, which was founded in 2015, has expanded all over the world, and in summer 2021, found a home in Winnipeg. Instead of throwing out food that does not get sold during the day, businesses using the Too Good To Go app can find customers to buy it at a reduced cost.

“Consumers pay a third of the retail cost for the food they pick up in our surprise bags,” Soteroff said. “For students on a fixed budget, this is a great opportunity to save money on great food that would be thrown out otherwise.”

These bags hold extra food like bread, pastries, and ice cream from the outlet consumers choose.

Soteroff said changes at the government or organizational level are not needed in combating food waste — everyone can help prevent food waste and save money in the process, she said.

“We need to help people think differently about the food they purchase, consume, and make to give businesses and consumers a stronger marketplace to sell surplus food,” said Soteroff. 

A surprise bag from To Good To Go being unpacked on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. (Neely Hammerberg)

According to Second Harvest, another food rescue service, every surprise bag sold can save up to 2.2 lbs of food and 5.5 lbs of CO2 emitted.

“We are still growing in this world, so we kind of need to preserve it,” said Alexis Jaculak, a second-year graphic design student at Red River College Polytechnic.

Jaculak, who works in the food industry, said she has seen an increase in food waste.

“The amount of food being thrown out just in the back of the store is horrible. If we could take a little bit of that and fix it, that would be great,” said Jaculak.

Jaculak said she has also noticed an increase in food prices. According to Statistics Canada, consumers paid about 11 per cent more for groceries in September 2022 compared to last September.

Stores currently partnered with Too Good To Go include select Vita Health Fresh Market Stores, Pizza Pizzas, Bronuts Donuts and Coffee, and more.