Improve Life Challenge 2019

March 29, 2019 – 10C participated in an amazing, brilliant day with colleagues, collaborators, mentors and an amazing team of students at the Improve Life Challenge 2019 at the University of Guelph. This 12 hour learning journey was co-created by the Arrell Food Institute, College of Business and Economics, John F. Wood Centre for Business and Social Enterprise, and Ontario Agricultural College.

The 10C team ended the day being awarded a ‘MOST FEASIBLE’ prize, for our work to develop a program at 10C called, FOOD IMPROV, Let’s Eat!



Food Improv, Let’s Eat! centres around 10C’s upcoming shared commercial community kitchen. We realize that simply “turning this kitchen” on will bring not only many rewards, but also the responsibility to effectively manage thousands of kilos of FOOD WASTE and WASTED FOOD. 10C will be launching the kitchen with a ZERO food waste policy and today’s participation in the ILC2019 helped us carve some practical, engaging and fun paths forward.

Grounded in the reality that Canada wastes over 50% of the food it grows, while 1 in 6 households in Guelph experience food insecurity, 10C declares that this is not acceptable. Food Improv will strive to build community, provide food waste solutions and collaboratively impact food insecurity in Guelph-Wellington.

Learn more about our concept…

Food Improv

Designed to capture and utilize all food at 10C, we called this program FOOD IMPROV, Let’s Eat! as every day at 10C is different, with a busy multi-user facility, predicting food inputs will be a challenge. What’s left from day to day will be a bit of an unknown and that’s where the fun comes in. Food Improv helps us create something from what’s while educating and engaging in the process.

June is a vegan caterer. She uses the 10C kitchen to create her vegetable lasagnas and wonderful ratatouille. June processes hundreds of kilos of vegetables per week and while she is efficient in her production process, there are lots of scraps that could make a great base for soup stock, a smoothie base or for roll-up snacks.

The FOOD IMPROV process works with pre-consumer food waste and will design a seamless system of food collection streams in the kitchen that separates raw ingredients into clean containers for freezing, dehydrating or same-day cooking. June cooks in the kitchen and organizes her waste into streamlined systems, as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Enter François, 10C’s Educator Chef, who is a rockstar in his own right. François wakes up every day excited about what he will create. He is passionate about waste reduction and helping teach people practical skills that they can build into their lives. François works in the kitchen daily, supporting entrepreneurs and organizations using the kitchen for their products and programs. Most importantly, François monitors food waste and plans lessons and activities for the weekly Food Improv activities, where he works with teams to take what would have been the week’s waste, creating something wonderful.

This Thursday, François is creating a SOUP and shares the recipe with the community. This soup is then consumed the next day for lunch by coworkers and visitors to 10C, with most of the proceeds going to organizations servicing those experiencing food insecurity.

Saturday, is the community cook-off, where everyone interested is invited to cook with François. This time, Guelph residents interested in reducing their own household waste and connecting around food, bring what they have left in their refrigerators or pantries and François helps the group navigate through a FOOD IMPROV, resulting in a batch of great meals prepping for dinners and lunches that weekend. Saving ALMOST wasted food becomes fun, it becomes collaborative and it builds relationships, one person at a time.

This program would be easily launched by 10C. We have the space, an engaged community and soon, we will have lots of kitchen users creating food waste. The main missing ingredient is François, 10C’s educational chef. Help us raise funds for this key position. If you are excited at the possibility of this program, please contact [email protected].