Loblaw banner stores make giving easy this holiday with the Extra Helping™ National Holiday Food Drive

Local Alberta stores offer new way to give to raise funds and food to help those in need

CALGARY, Nov. 25, 2011 /CNW/ - The holidays are a time for giving, and Loblaw Companies Limited's banner stores are making it easy for Canadians to support their local food bank with the Extra Helping™ National Holiday Food Drive. Collectively, Loblaw banner stores across Canada are aiming to raise $1.2 million and 1.2 million pounds of food in 2011. In addition, Loblaw also made a corporate donation of $250,000 to Food Banks Canada.

In Alberta the following Loblaw banner stores are involved in the campaign: Real Canadian Superstore® and Real Canadian Wholesale Club®, nofrills®, Extra Foods®.

From November 25 - December 15, participating Alberta Loblaw banner stores are offering a new, easy way to make a difference. Customers can purchase a $5 box of PC® Blue Menu® macaroni and cheese with $1 being a cash donation and $4 worth of nutritious, non-perishable food (including the box of macaroni and cheese) going to their local food bank. Once they pay for it at check out, they simply drop it into their store's Extra Helping™ collection bin.

Customers can also donate by purchasing or bringing in their own nutritious, non-perishable food items or by making a cash donation when they pay for their groceries. While shopping in your nearby Loblaw banner store, look for the Extra Helping™ logo featured on shelves in a variety of aisles, to help quickly and easily identify the most needed items. The logo will also be featured on signs at store entrances, in-store displays, collection bins and at checkout to encourage cash donations.

"We're seeing a continued increase in the number of people who need our help to feed their families," says Marjorie Bencz, CM, Vice Chair, Alberta Food Banks. "By donating nutritious, non-perishable food items such as soups and canned fruits and vegetables, customers can make a big difference for local families this holiday season."

According to Food Banks Canada's annual HungerCount, in 2011 an estimated 900,000 Canadians relied on assistance from food banks to have enough to eat during an average month. This past year in Alberta local food banks assisted nearly 60,000 Albertans each month, an increase of 74.9% since 2008. Of the individuals that were helped last year, 44% were children.

"We have a responsibility to help fight hunger across Canada," says Peggy Hornell, senior director, Community Investment, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We know how important it is to put food on the table not only during the holidays, but throughout the cold winter season. We encourage customers to help make a difference by making a food or cash donation to help feed someone in their community."

Alberta Food Banks states that the most needed non-perishable items in Alberta include: soups, canned vegetables, canned fruits, canned meat, pastas or pasta sauces, and peanut butter.

About Alberta Food Banks
Alberta Food Banks is the provincial charitable organization representing the food bank community across Alberta.  Our member food banks, and their respective agencies, serve over 80% of people accessing emergency food programs province wide.  Our mission is to provide support and leadership to food banks in Alberta in their efforts to provide short-term relief in the area of food insecurity while working on long-term solutions for hunger and poverty.

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 136,000 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.

SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information:

Loblaw Public Relations Department   Marjorie Bencz, CM
(905) 459-2500 or pr@loblaw.ca   Vice Chair
  Alberta Food Banks
  Telephone: 780-426-7657
  Email: m_bencz@telus.net


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