Loblaw grocery stores are stepping up to help the Red Deer Food Bank with the launch of its annual Spring Food Drive this week.
Loblaw grocery stores across Canada, including local Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer and Wholesale Club locations throughout Alberta, will be collecting donations of food and funds for two weeks beginning March 31 through to the Easter weekend.
“Red Deerians are very community-minded. Even a two-dollar donation at the checkout goes a long way when many people contribute. Similarly, just one or two items added to your cart for the in-store donation bin become hundreds of pounds of food when the entire community gets involved,” said Tonya Lagrasta, Loblaw’s senior director of sustainability and social impact, in a statement.
Loblaw Companies Limited’s 2021 Holiday Food Drive last December generated over $2.1 million in in-store cash donations and more than 2 million pounds of food for food banks across the country.
In Alberta, $319,000 and more than 242,000 pounds of food were donated to local food banks in all parts of the province.
“It’s a hard reality that many Red Deerians are in need this spring. Real Canadian Superstore Red Deer is committed to helping ease food insecurity across Red Deer by mobilizing our customers and colleagues. If you are in a position to donate to the food drive, thank you in advance for your generosity,” Lagrasta said.
Executive director Mitch Thomson said in the last two and a half months the demand for emergency food hampers was about 50 per cent higher than usual. Loblaws is a great partner and the food bank looks forward to the additional spring support.
“There’s a lot of need out there. For us, Easter is a busy time,” Thomson said.
He said in addition to encouraging citizens to donate, grocers like Loblaws contribute some of their excess inventory to the food bank.
“With utility costs the way they are, with fuel costs the way they are, it just is putting a really big squeeze on people. So anybody who has the ability to give at this time can sure make the difference in somebody else’s life.”
Thomson said he’s also received calls from locals preparing for relatives as people flee the battle in Ukraine. The food bank is here to respond when things happen in the world.