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Local Loblaw corporate and participating franchise stores partner with local food banks across British Columbia to raise awareness, funds and food to help those in need

CALGARY, Nov. 25 /CNW/ - In a year when many families continue to struggle to put food on their table, Loblaw Companies Limited (Loblaw) corporate and participating franchise stores across Canada continue to partner with local food banks to raise awareness, funds and food to help those in need.  Starting November 26, Loblaw retail stores and participating franchises in British Columbia will launch the 2010 Extra Helping™ Holiday National Food Drive to support local food banks and Food Banks Canada.  Consumers are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items or make a cash donation next time they visit their local Loblaw retail store and participating franchise location. Loblaw's goal is to raise $1.35 million and 1.2 million pounds of food across Canada in 2010.

According to Loblaw partner Food Banks Canada's annual HungerCount, in 2010, more than 860,000 Canadians relied on assistance from food banks to have enough to eat during an average month, compared to 800,000 Canadians in 2009.  This past year, in British Columbia, local food banks have assisted 94,359 individuals, an increase in 4.98 per cent from the year before.  Of the individuals that were helped last year, 27,996 were children.

"Our member food banks continue to see an increase of families accessing our services to help keep their families fed," says Don Armstrong, president, Food Banks British Columbia.  "Donations made during the holiday season go a long way in helping us to support families in need during the holidays and beyond."

According to Food Banks British Columbia, the most needed non-perishable items include: canned meat and fish, canned soups and stews, beans in tomato sauce, peanut butter, dry pasta and pasta sauce, and baby items such as baby food and formula.

In addition to collecting food and funds, earlier this year, Loblaw made a corporate donation of $250,000 to Food Banks Canada's National Food Sharing System, which works to acquire and share donated food and consumer package goods to support food banks across the country.  Donated food is transported to hubs managed by provincial food bank associations and in turn is distributed to local food banks to utilize for their food programs that assist hungry families and individuals in their communities.

"Loblaw has a strong tradition of supporting the communities we serve. As Canada's largest grocery retailer, we have a responsibility to help in the fight against hunger and assist food banks in serving families in need," says Peggy Hornell, senior director, Community Investment, Loblaw Companies Limited. "As customers shop for their families this holiday season, we encourage them to consider picking up an extra item or to donate a few dollars at check-out to help provide food for someone in their community."

To assist food banks in receiving the resources they require to help those in need, one hundred per cent of food donations and 70 per cent of funds donated in British Columbia, through the 2010 Extra Helping™ Holiday National Food Drive, are donated to the local food bank partnered with the individual Loblaw retail store or franchise. The remaining 30 per cent of donated funds support provincial food bank programs to ensure food banks in areas where Loblaw does not have a store or franchise are still able to benefit from the food drive.

In stores and franchises across British Columbia, shoppers will see an Extra Helping™ logo featured on shelves in a variety of aisles, to help them quickly and easily identify the most needed items. The logo will also be featured on signs at store entrances, in-store displays, collection bins and at checkout to encourage cash donations.

Loblaw corporate and participating franchise stores taking part in the 2010 Extra Helping™ Holiday Food Drive are: nofrills®, Extra Foods®, Real Canadian Superstore® and Real Canadian Wholesale Club®.

Loblaw is committed to being active in communities at the local, regional and national levels and the company views this as an integral component to the success of its business. One of Loblaw's commitments to Corporate Responsibility is to Make a Positive Difference in Communities.  The other Loblaw corporate social responsibility principles include Respect the Environment, Source with Integrity, Reflect our Nation's Diversity and Be a Great Place to Work.

About Food Banks British Columbia
Food Banks British Columbia is the provincial association representing 90 food banks.  Without any government funding they coordinate the distribution of product made available through Food Bank Canada's National Food Sharing System, the BC Share $2 coupons found at the registers of major grocery stores and provincial and national fund raisers.  Food Banks British Columbia is the voice of hunger in BC.   For further information, visit www.foodbanksbc.ca. 

About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited, a subsidiary of George Weston Limited, is Canada's largest food distributor 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 over 138,000 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 President's Choice®, no name® and Joe Fresh Style® brands. In addition, the Company makes available to consumers President's Choice Financial® services and offers the PC® points loyalty program.

Loblaw Public Relations Department
(905) 459 - 2500
Don Armstrong
Food Banks British Columbia
Office: (604) 792-0001
Cell: (604) 316-0528
Cheryl Carline
Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society
(604) 876-3601

(Source: CNW )
(Source: Quotemedia)


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