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Press release from CNW Group

Donations during the holiday season critical to help local food banks fight hunger

Friday, November 16, 2012

Donations during the holiday season critical to help local food banks fight hunger10:00 EST Friday, November 16, 20122012 Extra Helping™ Holiday Food Drive supports local food banks across AlbertaCALGARY, Nov. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - While hunger is a year round reality for many families, the holidays can bring added pressure to ensure cupboards are not bare. Alberta food banks assist an average of 53,512 individuals each month, 44 per cent of whom are children. To respond to this need, Real Canadian Superstore®, No Frills®, Extra Foods®, and Wholesale Club™ are holding the Extra Helping™ Holiday Food Drive from November 23 to December 13, and are encouraging local residents to help by donating food or funds."This is a critical time of year to reach out for donations, as the enhanced generosity inspired by the holiday season can significantly help to stock our shelves," says Jessi Evanoff with the Alberta Food Bank Network Association. "Adding just one item into the food donation bin at the local grocery store will help to fight hunger and feed local families in our community."To help, simply purchase or bring nutritious, non-perishable food items and drop them into the in-store Extra Helping™ donation bins, or make a cash donation at check-out.  To help customers quickly and easily identify the food bank's most needed items while they shop, Real Canadian Superstore®, No Frills®, Extra Foods®, and Wholesale Club™ stores will have the Extra Helping™ logo featured on shelves in a variety of aisles.In 2012, with the generosity and support of their customers, Loblaw grocery stores like Real Canadian Superstore®and Extra Foods®have raised $627,000 in funds and 647,000 pounds of food for food banks across Canada and are hoping to raise a grand total of $1.2 million and 1.2 million pounds of food by year end.To make it even easier for customers to donate, participating Loblaw banner stores like Real Canadian Superstore®and Extra Foods®will sell a specially designed $5 PC® Blue Menu® Deluxe Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese Dinner.  When customers purchase the $5 box, they are donating 4 food items, and a $1 cash donation. Customers can donate knowing that their $5 will purchase healthy food items for Canadian families in need. All they need to do is pick up the box while grocery shopping, pay for it when they check out and drop it in the Extra Helping™ donation bin on their way out.Since 2008, Loblaw Companies Limited has made an annual corporate donation to Food Banks Canada to support their National Food Sharing Program. To date, donations total $1.125 million, including a $250,000 donation in 2012. And, while Loblaw grocery stores have always supported local food banks, since the launch of the twice annual approach of the Extra Helping™ Food Drive campaign, Loblaw grocery stores have raised over $4.2 million and over 4.6 million pounds of food to support local food banks between 2009 and year to date."We are committed to helping fight hunger in all communities across Canada," says Peggy Hornell, Senior Director, Community Investment, Loblaw Companies Limited. "If every customer can make even a small food or cash donation - a box of the Extra Helping™PC ®Blue Menu®Deluxe Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese Dinner, a can of soup, bag of pasta or container of baby formula - it will make a big difference for those in need."In Alberta, the most needed, non-perishable items include canned soups, canned vegetables, canned fruits, canned meat, pastas or pasta sauces, and peanut butter according to the Alberta Food Bank Network Association.About Loblaw Companies LimitedLoblaw 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 135,000 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.SOURCE: Loblaw Companies LimitedFor further information: Loblaw Public Relations Department (905) 459-2500 or   Jessi Evanoff Coordinator, Alberta Food Bank Network Association (780) 459-4598