Loblaw calls for spring donations to feed Saskatchewan's 26,000 monthly food bank users

REGINA, March 23, 2015  /CNW/ - For many Canadian food banks, temperature and donations are closely linked. As the thermometer rises in spring, donation volumes fall, but the monthly demand for their food remains high throughout the year. To help feed those in need this spring, customers are being asked to make a donation to their local food bank at Real Canadian Superstore®, Extra Foods®, Your Independent Grocer®, nofrills® and Wholesale Club® stores. If every Saskatchewanian donated two items at their local store today, it would meet the traditional demand on food banks until July so stores are asking customers to share a picture of their donation with the hashtag #donate2items in an effort to get the entire province involved.

"During the spring many families continue to grapple with food insecurity at a time when the volume of donations typically decreases," said Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. "Hunger is a year-round issue so we want to encourage everyone to stop by their local Real Canadian Superstore or nofrills today to make a contribution."

Spring Food Drive donation bins are located in store and cash donations are also accepted at checkout. Saskatchewanians are encouraged to provide the following most-needed items:

  1. Pasta (canned or dry) and pasta sauces
  2. Canned meats and fish
  3. Meat alternatives (peanut butter, soy, assorted nuts)
  4. Canned goods (beans, soups, and stews)
  5. Dairy (canned and powdered milk)
  6. Canned vegetables and fruit
  7. Whole grain cereals
  8. Infant foods and baby formula
  9. Bathroom tissue and diapers
  10. Personal hygiene products

Food donations go directly to local food banks while cash donations support local food banks and Food Banks of Saskatchewan. Since 2009, Loblaw customers donated more than $9.9 million and 10 million pounds of food to food drives across Canada. This spring Loblaw plans to raise more than $1 million and 500,000 pounds of food by the campaign's end on April 9.

"Whether it's putting healthy food on our customers' plates or in hampers for food bank recipients, we believe we have a responsibility to help all Canadians live life well," Peggy Hornell, Senior Director, Community Investment, Loblaw Companies Limited. "If everyone in Saskatchewan donates just two items at one of our stores today we will meet the traditional demand on food banks until July."*

Loblaw Companies Limited has been a close partner of Food Banks Canada since 2008 and has been recognized with their Judges Award of Distinction in 2011, Award of Excellence in 2012 and Donor of the Year Award in 2013. Since 2008, Loblaw provided $1.5 million in support of the National Food Sharing System, a food acquisition program that ensures food is distributed to food banks across the country.

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, the nation's largest retailer, and the majority unit holder 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 PC Financial® no-fee banking; 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.

*Assuming average consumption of one hamper per month, one pound donations and 25 pound hampers

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information: Jennifer Ouellette, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Phone: 416-413-4774, jennifer.ouellette@hkstrategies.ca; Spenser Whalen, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Phone: 416-413-4610, spenser.whalen@hkstrategies.ca

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