A Behind-the-Scenes Look at The Potato Project Collaboration with The Calgary Food Bank
Since October 2020, Devour has been part of a fantastic collaboration with The Calgary Food Bank transforming thousands of pounds of donated potatoes into thousands of individually packaged and ready-to-eat servings of potato soup, smashed potatoes, and O’Brien potatoes.
When Life Gives You Potatoes
Starting in the late Spring of 2020, The Calgary Food Bank found themselves receiving hundreds of pounds of potatoes from suppliers who were unable to sell them to restaurants, airlines, and hotels due to COVID-19. Supply chains were slightly wonky and who knew so many French Fries were consumed on such a regular basis?
While The Food Bank was happy to receive these generous donations of potatoes, there were soon thousands of pounds of potatoes and it was becoming more difficult to hand them out raw to clients in hampers.
This is where the innovation and collaboration engine started up.
The Calgary Food Bank approached Devour with the idea of how we could transform these potatoes into ready-to-eat items that could be added into hampers. How could we add more nutrition to these potatoes and also make them into something special that could be eaten right after heating? We were excited by the challenge and we were also very happy to provide some hours to our team as well as some delicious food to families and individuals who needed it most.
The Food Bank also wanted to create a project that would also not only help their clients, but also help to provide support to the Devour team. Being able to engage some of our part time team into the ‘Potato Project Crew’ was an excellent way to provide some hours to our team.
Similar to our partnership with The Bowness Food Network, we wanted to find a way to provide much-needed food to those in need while also supporting Devour and our under-employed team members. There is always a way to find the win-win-win scenario.
The circle that this has created has been amazing. The potatoes are not going to waste, the team is being provided with hours and employment, and hundreds of people are receiving ready-to-eat potato products as part of their hamper. We are also creating a template for how this process and partnership could be applied to different surplus ingredients and different businesses.
We are deeply grateful to The Calgary Food Bank for being a true leader in supporting the Calgary community in so many ways. From early October to the end of December, Devour has transformed over 20,000 pounds of potatoes into almost 16,000 packaged servings of potato soup, smashed potatoes, and O’Brien potatoes.
Please consider supporting The Calgary Food Bank with donations of food, cash, or volunteer. More information can be found here on the various ways to support their fantastic work.
Thank you to Digital Shoebox for the great video!