BRAMPTON, ON, Dec. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Food bank use in Ontario has increased nearly 20 per cent since 2008. Many families struggle under the burden of substantial holiday costs at a time when children who rely on school nutrition programs are spending more time at home. To help feed those in need, customers are being asked to make a donation of two items to their local food bank at Loblaws®, Real Canadian Superstore®, Your Independent Grocer® and nofrills® stores. The retailer is also asking customers to share a picture of their donation with the hashtag #donate2items in an effort to get the entire province involved.
"Donations from local stores and food drives are so critical at this time of year because they will help families during the holidays and ensure that food banks have enough food to share in the New Year," said Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director, Food Banks Canada. "If everyone in the province donated just two items at their local Loblaw banner store today, we would meet the average demand on food banks for December, January and most of February."*
Holiday Food Drive donation bins are located in store and cash donations are also accepted at checkout. Ontarians are encouraged to provide the following most-needed items:
- Pasta (canned or dry) and pasta sauces
- Canned meats and fish
- Meat alternatives (peanut butter, soy, assorted nuts)
- Canned goods (beans, soups, and stews)
- Dairy (canned and powdered milk)
- Canned vegetables and fruit
- Whole grain cereals
- Infant foods and baby formula
- Bathroom tissue and diapers
- Personal hygiene products
All food donations go directly to local food banks and all cash donations are split between Ontario Association of Food Banks and local food banks. Since 2008, Loblaw customers donated more than 8.5 million dollars and 8.9 million pounds of food to food drives across Canada. This year Loblaw has plans to raise more than $1.8 million and 1.8 million pounds of food.
"As the largest grocery retailer, we believe we have a responsibility to help in the fight against hunger in Ontario," Peggy Hornell, Senior Director, Community Investment, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We are always wowed by the generosity of customers and colleagues and this year we're reminding them of the impact their contributions make. If everyone in Ontario donated just two items we could potentially meet the demand on food banks for months to come—that's where # donate2items comes into play."
Loblaw Companies Limited has been a close partner of Food Banks Canada since 2008 and was awarded Food Banks Canada's Donor of the Year award in 2013 in part thanks to 1.5 million dollars in grants since 2008 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