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Retailer provides $5M donation to food banks, community charities

loblawLoblaw Cos. Ltd. will provide $5 million in gift cards to certain food banks and community charities, including Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest and Community Food Centres Canada. Due to COVID-19, these 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 of Loblaw Cos. Ltd. “With a gift card in hand, someone facing hardship can visit a store to buy the items that matter most right then and there.”

“Food Banks Canada has made a $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,” said Chris Hatch, chief executive officer of Food Banks Canada. “We all rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses to donate funds, and Loblaw’s offer will stretch those funds further.”

"It will take many creative approaches to battle this ever-deepening food crisis and the distribution of discounted grocery cards to our low income neighbours is definitely one of them," said Nick Saul, CEO of Community Food Centres Canada. "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."

“In a time of greater crisis and uncertainty, simply being able to stock your fridge and cupboards with staples can help bring a sense of stability and hope,” said Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest. “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.”

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