April 6, 2020, Toronto, Ont. – Loblaw Companies Limited is providing $5 million in gift cards to certain food banks and community charities, including Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest, Community Food Centres Canada and others.
The company says that due to COVID-19, the groups are seeing growing community hardship, while also addressing the challenge of social distancing and increased food safety measures. Some are increasingly relying on grocery and drug store gift cards to help community members in need.
Through this new initiative, Loblaw will add an additional $5 million of value, to the $15-million worth of gift card purchases by select charities, increasing their buying power. The cards will be available for use in Loblaw’s 2,500 Shoppers Drug Mart and grocery store locations, including Loblaws, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer, Zehrs and more.
“Usually our donations quickly become a hot meal at a community food centre or a care package at a neighbourhood drop-in. With physical distancing some of those options have disappeared,” said Sarah Davis, president, Loblaw Companies Limited. “With a gift card in hand, someone facing hardship can visit a store to buy the items that matter most right then and there.”
Chris Hatch, CEO, Food Banks Canada, said the organization has made $150 million-dollar appeal on behalf of food banks in Canada from coast to coast to coast.
“We are anticipating a record number of individuals in need, and we must all work collaboratively to provide essential food support to them. We all rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses to donate funds, and Loblaw’s offer will stretch those funds further.”
Nick Saul, CEO of Community Food Centres Canada, said it will take many creative approaches to battle the ever-deepening food crisis and the distribution of discounted grocery cards to low-income.
“Enabling people to make their own food choices preserves dignity in a time of great stress and anxiety. We applaud Loblaw for stepping up to support our communities in this important way.”
Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest, said in a time of greater crisis and uncertainty, simply being able to stock the fridge and cupboards with staples can help bring a sense of stability and hope.
“We are proud to be partners with Loblaw in bringing food and support to communities across the country so that no Canadian is left behind.”
With more than 2,400 corporate, franchised and associate-owned locations, Loblaw is Canada’s largest retailer, employing approximately 200,000 full- and part-time employees.
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