'Pay-what-you-feel' grocery store opens in Vancouver, aims to combat food insecurity

A person reaches for parsnips at the Rescued Food Market in Vancouver, B.C., in this handout image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Food Stash Foundation

More than 35.5 million tonnes of food is thrown out each year in Canada, but one group in Vancouver is hoping to divert some of that to help people who are food insecure.

The Food Stash Foundation is opening the doors to the Rescued Food Market for the first time today.

It will allow patrons to shop and pay what they want, which means people can choose whether to donate money to help keep the market running.

Food Stash executive director Carla Pellegrini says the pay-what-you-feel model eliminates any stigma associated with not being able to afford the rising costs of food.

She says their charity rescues more than 30,000 kilograms of food every month and the market is just one way it bridges the gap to get the food to people who need it.

The market will complement the foundation's new community fridge, which sits in front of the Vancouver building and is stocked with food that is accessible to people at all times.

The market officially opens at 3:30 p.m. at 340 West 2nd Ave. in Vancouver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2021.