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The Atwater Market Is Giving Away The Food Nobody Buys & Here's Who Can Get It

The fruits and vegetables are going to local households in need.

Montreal's Atwater Market. Right: Fruit for sale at Montreal's Atwater Market.

Montreal's Atwater Market. Right: Fruit for sale at Montreal's Atwater Market.

Unsold food at Montreal's Atwater Market is now going to local households in need.

Since November 1, Marchés publics de Montréal, the entity that manages the city's markets, has been partnering with local organizations, Partageons l'espoir and the Centre de ressources et d'action communautaire de la Petite-Patrie's (CRACPP), to give leftover fruit and vegetables to households in the Sud-Ouest and Verdun.

The goal of the project is to reduce food waste while combatting food insecurity.

CRACPP has been involved in a similar initiative at Jean-Talon Market since 2017. Marchés publics de Montréal says that the project saved 10,795 kilograms of fruits and vegetables and additionally produced 2,545 food baskets for La Petite-Patrie families in the summer of 2022. The organization estimates the project has saved 68 tons of food through giveaways and ready-to-eat meals since its launch.

"Public markets are part of sustainable development on a daily basis because of the nature of their proximity," Marchés publics de Montréal Executive Director Nicolas Fabien-Ouellet said in the release.

The markets, he continued, "offer consumers a short circuit with direct contact to producers. It was only natural to continue in this vein and bring fresh market products to as many households in the neighbourhood as possible, regardless of the size of their wallets."

Partageons l'espoir was chosen to lead the Atwater Market project after a call for tenders. The organization has been active in Sud-Ouest neighbourhoods since 1990.

"We are excited to partner with the Montreal Public Markets to recover unsold goods from merchants and help reduce food waste," Partageons l'espoir's Director of Food Security Programs Julie Poirier added. "As a local organization with strong roots in the Sud-Ouest, we will be able to benefit the community through our various food programs."

This article's right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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