The Extra Helping™ Food Drive helps restock the shelves at food banks across Ontario this spring
BRAMPTON, ON, April 2, 2014 /CNW/ - For many Ontarians, spring is a time of growth and renewal, but for local food banks it can mean bare shelves and dwindling resources. With food banks in Ontario assisting an average of 375,000 individuals each month, 35 per cent of whom are children, donations continue to be critical this spring. From April 3 to 24, Real Canadian Superstore®, Loblaws®, Your Independent Grocer®, no frills® and other Loblaw banner stores are encouraging customers to donate food or funds to their local food bank during the Extra Helping™ Food Drive.
"Hunger is a year round reality for far too many families," says Bill Laidlaw, executive director at the Ontario Association of Food Banks. "The Spring Extra Helping™ Food Drive helps us replenish our stock and fight hunger in communities across Ontario. Adding just one item to the food donation bin or two dollars to your grocery bill makes a big difference to local families in need."
To help, simply purchase or bring nutritious, non-perishable food items and drop them into the in-store Extra Helping™ donation bins, or make a $2 cash donation at check-out. Customers can quickly and easily identify the food bank's most needed items while they shop at Loblaws®, Fortinos®, Zehrs Markets®, Your Independent Grocer®, valu-mart®, nofrills® and Real Canadian Superstore® stores with the Extra Helping™ logo on shelves beside the price label.
In Ontario the most needed, non-perishable items include pasta products, rice, canned meat and fish, dry and canned soups and stews, canned fruit and vegetables, flour, hot/cold cereals, whole grain cereals, peanut butter, aseptic packaged or canned/powdered milk, fruit juices, pasta sauce, beans and legumes, infant formula and baby food, according to the Ontario Association of Food Banks.
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.
"As Canada's largest grocery retailer, we're committed to helping fight hunger in communities across the country," says Peggy Hornell, Senior Director, Community Investment, Loblaw Companies Limited. "Hunger continues to be a challenge across the country, and we are encouraging our customers to donate whatever they can - cash or non-perishable food items - so together we can make a real difference in the lives of those in need."
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 help 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 banner stores in Ontario participating in the Extra Helping™ Food Drive include Loblaws®, Fortinos®, Zehrs Markets®, Your Independent Grocer®, valu-mart®, nofrills® and Real Canadian Superstore® locations.
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About Ontario Association of Food Banks
The Ontario Association of Food Banks is a network of 127 food banks and over 1,100 hunger-relief programs across the province. This includes breakfast clubs, school meals programs, community kitchens, emergency shelters, seniors' centres, and youth groups. Together we serve over 375,000 individuals (including 131,000 children) living with chronic hunger every single month.
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
(905) 459-2500 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Manager of Communications
Ontario Association of Food Banks
Telephone: 416-656-4100 x2932