To save wasted food and provide them to the needy, Tony Colley started ‘Be One To Give (B12Give)’ – an ‘Uber eats style’ food project in May 2019.
Since then, through his B12Give program, he has been giving food to food pantries and homeless shelters from the leftovers of catering events.
Tony who was a bank manager was financially weak when he started out his career. He knew the pain of sleeping hungry.
Colley started B12Give while he was working part-time in an event management company based in Toronto.
Although the staff of the company was permitted to take home the leftovers, it wasn’t enough. Seeing the amount of wasted food after an event, he decided to start a social cause wherein he would feed the needy with the leftovers.
At the same time, Tony found out that Canada has a food waste worth $31 billion.
Initially, Colley would take home his share of food and freeze the excess, and deliver them to homes on his bike.
Soon he got involved with other retailers to carry on B12Give. Retail partners notify Tony via text when there is surplus food. He then collects the surplus and delivers it to nearby shelter homes like Margaret’s and Dixon Hall. A minimum amount of fee is paid to the retailers.
Colley calls B12Give as “Canada’s 1st barrier-free food diversion program,” which implies that in this initiative, the food reaches the shelter from the retailer within an hour.
So far Tony has delivered 11,000 pounds of extra food around Toronto. He has served almost 8,500 meals.
Tony has faced hesitation from retailers in terms of donation. The fear of serving bad quality or contaminated food has hindered the participation of the majority of retailers.
However, Ontario’s Donation of Food Act and Good Samaritan Act promises to protect the ones who wish to donate surplus or fresh food.
Tony wishes to expand his B12Give program by launching an app by the end of this year. Tony feels that this will help retailers to reach out more easily.