Loblaw Companies Limited launches Fall Food Drive in support of Ontario's Food Banks

    Ontario food banks' need for support is greatest in a decade

    TORONTO, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - Loblaw Companies Limited and the Ontario
Association of Food Banks (OAFB) has launched their Fall Food Drive at Loblaws
and Real Canadian Superstore locations across Ontario. Running until October
16th, the food drive provides an opportunity for Loblaws and Superstore
customers to support their local food bank and provincial hunger relief
efforts by donating food via bins situated at store entrances or by coupon
donations at checkout counters.
    "This has been the most difficult year in over a decade given the tough
economic times and rising prices we're currently facing," says Adam Spence,
Executive Director, Ontario Association of Food Banks. "Food donations are
down in many communities, while many food banks are reporting that more
Ontarians are turning to them for assistance. We need the support of our
neighbours more than ever before."
    In Ontario, 320,000 people are forced to turn to food banks each month
and 40 per cent of those served by food banks across the province are
children. The majority of food banks rely on the generosity of community
members during the fall and winter holiday seasons to keep food on their
shelves throughout the year. Unfortunately, 20 per cent of food banks in
Ontario do not have enough food to meet the needs of their neighbours. Many
more are struggling with a need to purchase unprecedented amounts of food.
    "With the holidays just around the corner, it's imperative that we reach
out to our communities in Ontario at this time," comments Inge van den Berg,
Vice President, Public Affairs and Investor Relations, Loblaw Companies
Limited. "We are fortunate to be involved in helping put food on the table for
families in need and with so many of our stores participating in this
initiative, we're making it easy and convenient for customers to give as much
as they can."
    The goal for the food drive is to collect 500,000 pounds of food
province-wide. Ontarians can show their support by donating at one of 79
participating Loblaws or Superstore locations.

    The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) is a network of over 100
food banks including communities across the province from Ottawa to Windsor,
and Niagara Falls to Thunder Bay. For more information about the OAFB, as well
as hunger and poverty in Ontario, please visit www.oafb.ca.

    About Loblaw Companies Limited

    Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's largest food distributor and a
leading provider of general merchandise, drugstore and financial products and
services. Through its various operating banners, Loblaw is committed to
providing Canadians with a one-stop destination in meeting their food and
everyday household needs. This goal is pursued through a portfolio of store
formats across the country. It also offers one of Canada's strongest control
label programs, including the unique President's Choice(R) and no name(R)
brands. Loblaw is one of the largest private-sector employers in Canada,
employing over 140,000 full-time and part-time employees.

For further information:

For further information: Adam Spence, Executive Director, Ontario
Association of Food Banks, w: (416) 656-4100, c: (416) 543-0897

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Ontario Association of Food Banks

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