The Echo Food Rescue has expanded its facility, to continue fulfilling its mission of combating food waste.  

The grand re-opening of the facility is on May 26 at 2:30 p.m., before the regular food distribution time at 3 p.m.  

“We want to celebrate with a lot of the community members who come to the food rescue every week, and so that's just perfect timing,” said Christina Sturgeon, Echo Food Rescue Manager.   

The expansion was possible with the support of the Farm Credit Canada AgriSpirit Grant.  

“We applied for the grant so we could increase our capacity to bring more food in and to do that we needed additional cooler space, and we needed some storage options,” Sturgeon said. “We just want to utilize the space that we have better so that we can start to bring in more.”  

The coolers were needed because of the amount of food coming in.  

“We can bring in as much food as we can possibly find out there and wouldn’t have a problem finding people to take it home and put it on their plate right away,” Sturgeon said. “That's the key with the food we're bringing in. It’s at the end of its life, and it needs to get on someone's plate quickly.”  

She explained that throughout the summer, the food rescue receives additional produce from farms, and local gardeners, and the extra space will help keep the produce fresh.   

In addition to more space and storage, the facility was also painted.   

“We had this amazing mural painter come in and paint this beautiful mural on our wall, which makes it more fun in here,” Sturgeon said. “It just makes it feel better in the space when people come.”  

Going forward, Sturgeon’s goal is to expand the amount of food being distributed and have the food rescue open more days.   

“We’re just trying to give away as much food as we possibly can,” Sturgeon said. “The first year we were in operation, we kept 65,000 lbs of food out of the landfill, and last year we were at over 100,000 lbs.”  

During the grand re-opening Lacombe and area residents are invited to take a tour of the updated facility, enjoy cake, and learn more about the food rescue’s mission at 2:30 p.m., before the regular Sunday food distribution.