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Close to 22,000 pounds of food diverted from being tossed out with the trash in Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John’s resident John Kearney has an app on his phone that he recommends to all of his friends, not only because it saves him money, but it keeps food out of landfills.
Speaking with The Telegram, he excitedly lists all of the produce he purchased for just $5 through the Flashfood app that launched in Newfoundland and Labrador this summer, and is growing in popularity.
“I got a good variety of so many things. I got two turnips, a couple of tomatoes, a couple of pears, apples, bananas, clementines.
“Of course, I’m not going to eat those things all at once, but then I have something for breakfast, lunch and supper for the next two days. It’s fantastic.”
He estimates the equivalent amount of produce would have cost him roughly $30 without the app.
“So much food gets wasted so often. It makes me really sad. But now I’m taking that food and coming up with some recipes … and I’m eating a lot of food that otherwise would have just been tossed.” — John Kearney
Flashfood offers discounts of at least 50 per cent on near-expiring products at all 11 Dominion stores across the province. The app also offers discounts at four locations on P.E.I., 19 in New Brunswick and 28 in Nova Scotia.
Discounts reach 90 per cent on items stores want to ensure are purchased instead of thrown away, said Mitch Harrison, Flashfood operations manager for Eastern Canada.
He said since the app launched at 406 Loblaws stores across Canada earlier this year, it has diverted more than three million pounds of food from landfills. In Newfoundland and Labrador, roughly 22,000 pounds of food has been diverted from landfills, Harrison said.
Other than saving money, that’s another reason why Kearney enjoys using the app.
“So much food gets wasted so often. It makes me really sad. But now I’m taking that food and coming up with some recipes … and I’m eating a lot of food that otherwise would have just been tossed.”
👉🏻 https://t.co/GXWDZz4eMX One game of 'how much did your Flashfood groceries cost you?' quickly became the ultimate grocery haul! 🥳🙌⠀— Flashfood App (@Flashfoodinc) September 19, 2019
Geneviève got peppers, bananas, pears, oranges, various apples, a mango, an eggplant, various mushrooms, organic broccoli, a bag of mixed… pic.twitter.com/ByTS3MjaY7
Asked how much food he estimates he’s kept from the province’s landfills since he started using the app in November, Kearney exhales.
“Oh, gosh. So much.
“I’d say at least probably 50 pieces of fruit, and that’s no exaggeration. And I’m so excited to say that I’ve saved 50 pieces of fruit,” he laughs.
“And maybe 20 vegetables as well. I got three bags of baby potatoes, and I just roasted them all up with some peppers and paid $1 for some tofu, and I have six meals.”
Flashfood is a Canadian company based in Toronto, but after a successful launch this year, it is already beginning to expand into the United States.
Harrison said they are doing a pilot with Meijer, a grocer based in Michigan.
The app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play Store.
How it works is simple. Grocers post their surplus food on the app, then shoppers purchase the food directly through the app, and go to the store and collect items from the Flashfood zone — a fridge and rack near the customer service counter.