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Food Banks Canada Launches Retail Program to Increase Food Support to Food Banks

Food Banks Canada Launches Retail Program to Increase Food Support to Food 
Banks 
Leading retailers join Food Banks Canada to provide essential food to food 
banks across the country 
TORONTO, March 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Food Banks Canada has launched a new initiative 
to increase the amount of food distributed to food banks across the country. 
The new Retail Food Program in partnership with Loblaw Companies Limited, 
Target Canada and Walmart Canada, aims to increase the support to food banks 
through the donation of surplus food and household products to local food 
banks. 
Close to 900,000 Canadians rely on the assistance of a food bank each month - 
according to Food Banks Canada's annual HungerCount survey - which is a 31% 
increase since the 2008-09 recession. With this significant increase over the 
last number of years, food banks are struggling to meet the need and acquire a 
consistent supply of quality food. 
The Retail Food Program will connect local food banks with grocery retail 
stores across the country. Participating retailers will work with local food 
banks to set aside a mix of fresh, frozen and non-perishable products, 
depending on product assortment agreements. 
"Our efforts to increase the availability of quality safe food is essential 
for food banks across the country," said Katharine Schmidt, Executive 
Director, Food Banks Canada. "We're thrilled that we have three leading retail 
partners launching this program with us." 
The program will match over 400 food banks with 1,500 stores and with expected 
weekly pick-ups, it is anticipated to bring hundreds of thousands of pounds of 
fresh, frozen and non-perishable foods. Today food banks collect an estimated 
200 million lbs of food - valued at $500 million, annually. 
Loblaw, Target and Walmart have made other significant donations to the food 
bank community through a variety of programs: 


    --  Since 2009, Loblaw donated $5.6 million and 6.3 million lbs of
        food through its Extra Helping Food Drive campaigns and also
        has contributed $1.2 million through corporate donations;
    --  Walmart donated over $1 million through philanthropic and cause
        marketing campaigns and donated over 160,000 lbs of food in
        2012 and
    --  Target donated over $243,000 to the food bank community from
        the $1 million Give with Target campaign and prepared close to
        1,200 personal care kits during its December Day of Service. In
        addition, Target has committed $656,000 over three years as
        part of their donation to Food Banks Canada's programs.

"A retail food program is an ideal collaboration between grocery retail stores 
and local food banks" said Chris Hatch of The Mississauga Food Bank. "We're 
really grateful to Walmart, Target and Loblaw for their support and for the 
opportunity to work together to provide additional food to those in need in 
our community."

The support of the retail community is essential to the work of the food bank 
community - from local support through programs like the Retail Food Program 
to national cause marketing campaigns that help to raise awareness, community 
support and much needed food and funds.

About Food Banks Canada
Food Banks Canada is the national charitable organization representing the 
food bank community across Canada. Our Members, Affiliate Member food banks, 
and their respective agencies serve approximately 85% of people accessing 
emergency food programs nationwide.Our mission is to meet the short-term 
need for food and find long-term solutions to reduce hunger. Please visit 
www.foodbankscanada.ca for more information.

About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's 
largest food retailer and a leading provider of drugstore, general merchandise 
and financial products and services. Loblaw is one of the largest private 
sector employers in Canada. With more than 1,000 corporate and franchised 
stores from coast to coast, Loblaw and its franchisees employ more than 
134,000 full-time and part-time employees. Through its portfolio of store 
formats, Loblaw is committed to providing Canadians with a wide, growing and 
successful range of products and services to meet the everyday household 
demands of Canadian consumers. Loblaw is known for the quality, innovation and 
value of its food offering. It offers Canada's strongest control (private) 
label program, including the unique President's Choice(®), no name(®) and 
Joe Fresh(®) brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers 
President's Choice Financial(® )services and offers the PC(®) points loyalty 
program.

About Target 
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,787 stores 
- 1,784 in the United States and three in Canada - and at Target.com. Since 
1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and 
programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more 
information about Target's commitment to corporate responsibility, visit 
Target.com/corporateresponsibility.

About Walmart Canada
Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of more than 375 locations nationwide 
serving more than one million customers each day, as well as its flagship 
online store, www.walmart.ca, which is visited by over 250,000 Canadians 
daily. With over 94,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada's largest 
employers and is recognized by Waterstone Human Capital as having one of 
Canada's top 10 corporate cultures. Walmart Canada is focused on helping 
Canadian families in need. Since 1994, Walmart has donated and raised more 
than $160 million to Canadian charities and not-for-profit organizations. 
Additional company information can be found at walmartcanada.ca, 
facebook.com/walmartcanada and at twitter.com/@walmartcanada.

Media contact: Marzena Gersho, Food Banks Canada, (647) 242-5919 (mobile) or 
(416) 203-9241, ext. 228 (office)

SOURCE: Food Banks Canada

To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/March2013/07/c3097.html

CO: Food Banks Canada
ST: Ontario
NI: CHARITY 

-0- Mar/07/2013 16:15 GMT


 
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