Loblaw and its customers donate more than $24 million to local charities in

Loblaw continues to make a positive difference in communities coast to coast

BRAMPTON, ON, March 3 /CNW/ - Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) announced today that it has donated more than $24 million in 2009 to help support those in need. Loblaw, its customers, colleagues, franchisees and their employees collectively donated the funds to provide support for local charities, programs and organizations across the country.

Loblaw community support is based on five key areas which include, President's Choice(R) Children's Charity, healthy active kids, feeding our neighbours, greening our communities and the Colleague Volunteer Grant Program.

"Loblaw is committed to being active in the communities where we operate by supporting local charities," said Peggy Hornell, Senior Director, Community Investment, Loblaw Companies Limited. "Whether it is through support from Loblaw or our corporate charity, President's Choice(R) Children's Charity, we believe making a difference on a national, regional and local level is an integral part of the way we conduct business."

Loblaw created President's Choice(R) Children's Charity to empower its stores, colleagues, franchisees and their employees to support families in communities where the Company has stores. One of the largest corporate charities in Canada, President's Choice(R) Children's Charity is dedicated to helping children who are physically or developmentally challenged by helping to remove some of the obstacles that make everyday living difficult. In 2009, President's Choice(R) Children's Charity granted $8.9 million to more than 1,500 families across Canada. Grants typically supported the purchase of assistive devices, vehicle adaptations, developmental and physical therapy, camp tuition, home improvements, and respite care.

In 2009, President's Choice(R) Children's Charity also donated $1 million to Breakfast for Learning to support more than 2,900 nutrition programs in schools across the country. This makes President's Choice(R) Children's Charity the National Premier Sponsor of Breakfast for Learning. In Newfoundland and Labrador, Breakfast for Learning works in partnership with Kids Eat Smart Foundation and in Quebec, Breakfast for Learning provides funding to Club des petits déjeuners, in addition to providing direct program funding in this province.

Some of the other organizations and programs that benefited from Loblaw fundraising efforts and corporate donations include: WWF-Canada, Food Banks Canada, Tree Canada, Trans Canada Trail, SickKids Hospital, IWK Health Centre, Janeway Children's Hospital Foundation, KidsFest Running & Reading Clubs, YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, Toronto Community Foundation/Toronto Foundation for Student Success - Beyond 3:30 Program, Meal Exchange - Trick or Eat, NSTEP, la Tablée des chefs and le Club des petits déjeuners du Québec.

Loblaw is committed to being active in communities at the national, regional and local levels and the Company views this as an integral component to the success of its business. A commitment to make a positive difference in communities is one of five Loblaw corporate social responsibility pillars, which also includes respect the environment, source with integrity, reflect our nation's diversity and be a great place to work.

About Loblaw Companies Limited

Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food distributor 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 over 139,000 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(R), no name(R) and Joe Fresh Style(R) brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial(R) services and offers the PC(R) points loyalty program.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information: For further information: Karen Gumbs, Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs, Loblaw Companies Limited, (905) 459-2500 ext. 616041, karen.gumbs@loblaw.ca

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