Loblaw kicks off its Extra Helping™ Spring Food Drive in BC

Loblaw continues to support Food Banks BC to help fight hunger across the BC community

VANCOUVER, April 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Today Loblaw kicked off its Extra Helping™ Spring Food Drive which runs from Friday, April 4 - Thursday, April 24. Food banks provide our neighbours in need with food essentials. To help address the need for donations, Loblaw is calling on the BC community to donate non-perishable food items and funds at checkout at Real Canadian Superstore®, Your Independent Grocer®, nofrills®, Extra Foods®, and Wholesale Club™ locations.

"We believe we have a responsibility to help in the fight against hunger across the BC community," says Carlo Fierro, Store Manager of Real Canadian Superstore®. "With the support and generosity of our customers and colleagues, we know we can make a difference for those in need at Food Banks BC."

According to Food Banks BC, an estimated 94,000 residents, 30 per cent of them children, rely on a food bank in an average month across the BC community.

"Hunger is a year round reality for far too many families," says Laura Lansik, Executive Director of Food Banks BC. "The Spring Extra Helping™ Food Drive helps us replenish our stock and fight hunger in our communities. Adding just one item to the food donation bin or a few extra dollars to your grocery bill makes a big difference to local families in need."

What should customers add to their shopping list? According to Food Banks BC, the most needed non-perishable items include peanut butter or nuts, baby food, canned fruits and vegetables, canned fish or meat and beans. Other needed items include pasta and sauce, rice, whole grain cereals and aseptic packaged powdered or canned milk, but the nutritional needs in each community are different and donors are advised to connect directly with their local food bank.

One hundred per cent of food donations and 85 per cent of cash donations will go directly to food banks across BC, while the remaining 15 per cent of donated cash will support provincial food bank programs. Thanks to the support and generosity of customers, in 2013, the Extra Helping™ Food Drive raised more than $1.9 million in funds and over 1.5 million pounds of food for food banks across the country.  Loblaw Companies Limited and its banner stores hope to raise $1.8 million and 1.8 million pounds of food in 2014.

Loblaw grocery stores have a long history of supporting food banks in their local communities. In 2009, the Company rebranded its efforts under the Extra Helping™ Food Drive, a bi-annual, national campaign to reduce hunger. Since then Loblaw stores have raised more than $7.5 million and more than 7.8 million pounds of food. In addition, through annual corporate donations, Loblaw Companies has contributed $1.37 million to date to Food Banks Canada in support of their National Food Sharing Program.

Loblaw corporate and franchised stores participating in the campaign operate under the following corporate and franchise banners: Loblaws®, Fortinos®, Zehrs Markets®, Your Independent Grocer®, valu-mart®, nofrills®, Extra Foods®, Dominion® (Newfoundland and Labrador), SaveEasy®, Provigo®, Maxi®, Maxi & Cie®, select Wholesale Club™stores, Club EntrepôtMC,, Atlantic Superstore® and Real Canadian Superstore® and select Shop Easy Foods® and Super Valu® stores.

About Food Banks BC

Food Banks BC is the provincial association of 94 member food banks across the province! Our vision is a hunger-free future, and we work hard to support and inspire each one of our member food banks so that they can in turn, achieve hunger-free communities all over BC. Every year through the National Food Sharing System (NFSS), we distribute more than one million pounds of food to community food banks. Plus, through our BC Sharing coupons program, food banks in our province are able to work directly with their local grocery stores to receive food donations, every time a shopper scans a BC Share coupon. Last year, our food banks helped close to 94,000 people throughout the province… 30 per cent were children!

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, the nation's largest retailer, and the majority unitholder of Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. Loblaw provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, banking, and wireless mobile products and services. With more than 2,300 corporate, franchised and Associate-owned locations, Loblaw, its franchisees, and Associate-owners employ approximately 192,000 full- and part-time employees, making it one of Canada's largest private sector employers.

Loblaw's purpose - Live Life Well - puts first the needs and well-being of Canadians who make one billion transactions annually in the companies' stores. Loblaw is positioned to meet and exceed those needs in many ways: convenient locations; more than 1,050 grocery stores that span the value spectrum from discount to specialty; full-service pharmacies at more than 1,250 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix locations and more than 500 Loblaw locations; no-fee banking with PC Financial; affordable Joe Fresh fashion and family apparel; and three of Canada's top consumer brands in Life Brand®, no name® and President's Choice®. Through the PC Plus™ and Shoppers Optimum® loyalty programs, more than one in every three Canadians are rewarded for shopping with the companies.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information:

Loblaw Public Relations Department
(905) 459-2500 or pr@loblaw.ca 

Laura Lansik, Executive Director
Food Banks BC
604-498-1798
laura@foodbanksbc.com