Leading retailers join Food Banks Canada to provide essential food to
food banks across the country
TORONTO, March 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Food Banks Canada has launched a new
initiative to increase the amount of food distributed to food banks
across the country. The new Retail Food Program in partnership with
Loblaw Companies Limited, Target Canada and Walmart Canada, aims to
increase the support to food banks through the donation of surplus food
and household products to local food banks.
Close to 900,000 Canadians rely on the assistance of a food bank each
month - according to Food Banks Canada's annual HungerCount survey -
which is a 31% increase since the 2008-09 recession. With this
significant increase over the last number of years, food banks are
struggling to meet the need and acquire a consistent supply of quality
The Retail Food Program will connect local food banks with grocery
retail stores across the country. Participating retailers will work
with local food banks to set aside a mix of fresh, frozen and
non-perishable products, depending on product assortment agreements.
"Our efforts to increase the availability of quality safe food is
essential for food banks across the country," said Katharine Schmidt,
Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. "We're thrilled that we have
three leading retail partners launching this program with us."
The program will match over 400 food banks with 1,500 stores and with
expected weekly pick-ups, it is anticipated to bring hundreds of
thousands of pounds of fresh, frozen and non-perishable foods. Today
food banks collect an estimated 200 million lbs of food - valued at
$500 million, annually.
Loblaw, Target and Walmart have made other significant donations to the
food bank community through a variety of programs:
Since 2009, Loblaw donated $5.6 million and 6.3 million lbs of food
through its Extra Helping Food Drive campaigns and also has contributed
$1.2 million through corporate donations;
Walmart donated over $1 million through philanthropic and cause
marketing campaigns and donated over 160,000 lbs of food in 2012 and
Target donated over $243,000 to the food bank community from the $1
million Give with Target campaign and prepared close to 1,200 personal
care kits during its December Day of Service. In addition, Target has
committed $656,000 over three years as part of their donation to Food
Banks Canada's programs.
"A retail food program is an ideal collaboration between grocery retail
stores and local food banks" said Chris Hatch of The Mississauga Food
Bank. "We're really grateful to Walmart, Target and Loblaw for their
support and for the opportunity to work together to provide additional
food to those in need in our community."
The support of the retail community is essential to the work of the food
bank community - from local support through programs like the Retail
Food Program to national cause marketing campaigns that help to raise
awareness, community support and much needed food and funds.
About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada is the national charitable organization representing
the food bank community across Canada. Our Members, Affiliate Member
food banks, and their respective agencies serve approximately 85% of
people accessing emergency food programs nationwide. Our mission is to
meet the short-term need for food and find long-term solutions to
reduce hunger. Please visit www.foodbankscanada.ca for more information.
About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is
Canada's largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore,
general merchandise and financial products and services. Loblaw is one
of the largest private sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000
corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its
franchisees employ more than 134,000 full-time and part-time employees.
Through its portfolio of store formats, Loblaw is committed to
providing Canadians with a wide, growing and successful range of
products and services to meet the everyday household demands of
Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and
value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control
(private) label program, including the unique President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points loyalty program.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,787
stores - 1,784 in the United States and three in Canada - and at
Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit
through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more
than $4 million a week. For more information about Target's commitment
to corporate responsibility, visit Target.com/corporateresponsibility.
About Walmart Canada
Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of more than 375 locations
nationwide serving more than one million customers each day, as well as
its flagship online store, www.walmart.ca, which is visited by over 250,000 Canadians daily. With over 94,000
associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada's largest employers and is
recognized by Waterstone Human Capital as having one of Canada's top 10
corporate cultures. Walmart Canada is focused on helping Canadian
families in need. Since 1994, Walmart has donated and raised more than
$160 million to Canadian charities and not-for-profit organizations.
Additional company information can be found at walmartcanada.ca, facebook.com/walmartcanada and at twitter.com/@walmartcanada.
SOURCE: Food Banks Canada
For further information:
Marzena Gersho, Food Banks Canada,
(647) 242-5919 (mobile) or
(416) 203-9241, ext. 228 (office)