Tenants reduce grocery bills 32%, decrease food waste, and learn new cooking skills in unique Freezer Meal Project

Beyond Housing, a non-profit organization in the Region of Waterloo, initiated a unique Freezer Meal Project at their 48-unit apartment building on 544 Bridgeport Road East. The project aimed to help tenants reduce grocery bills, minimize food waste, and acquire new cooking skills. Shirley Lichti, a volunteer, spearheaded the project, securing support from various partners.

Danby Appliances CEO, Jim Estill, donated 10 freezers, while Jody O’Malley and Kirstie Herbstreit, owners of The Culinary Studio, contributed 12 cooking classes over six months. Ron McGrath and Sharon VandenEnden, Foodland franchise owners in Ayr, played a crucial role in providing ingredients for the classes. Nineteen participants, 18 of whom received freezers, engaged in 12 cooking classes covering diverse topics such as knife skills, Jambalaya, Cauliflower Mac N Cheese, and more.

Survey research conducted before, midway, and after the project revealed a significant reduction of over 30% in food costs. Participants with freezers could take advantage of sales and bulk purchases, resulting in decreased food waste. The classes not only diversified their meals but also encouraged healthier eating habits, with some reporting improved health outcomes, such as managing diabetes and weight loss. The feedback highlighted increased excitement in cooking, the realization of the impact of spices, and a reduction in spending on takeout.

The success of the project was attributed to the collaboration of partners, including Danby Appliances, The Culinary Studio, and Foodland. There are plans to expand the initiative to other locations where Foodland has stores. For more information, interested individuals can contact Shirley Lichti, the Beyond Housing volunteer, at 519-745-0247 or slichti@marketingmagic.ca. Beyond Housing, committed to affordable and sustainable housing as a basic human right, operates under the leadership of Executive Director Dan Driedger.



About Danby Appliances:

Founded in 1947, Danby is one of North America’s leading manufacturers and distributors of compact appliances, such as microwaves, dehumidifiers, refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners as well as the Silhouette brand of wine and beverage centers. For more information on Danby, its products and brands, please visit www.danby.com or silhouetteappliances.com. Follow Danby on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.