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Press release from CNW Group

Donations are critical to help British Columbia food banks fight hunger

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Donations are critical to help British Columbia food banks fight hunger

09:59 EDT Wednesday, April 17, 2013

VANCOUVER, April 17, 2013 /CNW/ - (TSX: L) - While Spring means time of renewal for many, it also means dwindling resources at food banks. British Columbia food banks assist an average of 96,100 individuals each month, 29.5 per cent of whom are children.  Grocery shoppers are encouraged to help by donating food and/or funds to the Extra Helping™ Food Drive from April 19th to May 9th hosted at their local Real Canadian Superstore ® , Your Independent Grocer® , nofrills® , Extra Foods ® , and Wholesale Club™ locations.

"Hunger is a reality for far too many families and individuals in British Columbia" says Laura Lansink Executive Director, Food Banks BC. "The Extra Helping™ Food Drive is essential in helping local food banks replenish their stock and address the issue of hunger in our communities. And, one hundred per cent of the food raised in the community, stays with the local community food banks."

According to Food Banks Canada, most needed non-perishable food items include: pasta products, rice, canned meat and fish, dry and canned soups and stews, canned fruit and vegetables, flour, hot/cold cereals, whole grain cereals, peanut butter, aseptic packaged or canned/powdered milk, fruit juices, pasta sauce, beans and legumes, infant formula and baby food.

Food banks' most needed items are marked in select Loblaw banner stores with shelf tags featuring the Extra Helping™ logo, making it easy for customers to help locate them when shopping.

Loblaw Companies Limited and its banner stores hope to raise $1.8 million and 1.8 million pounds of food in 2013.

"As Canada's largest grocery retailer, we're committed to helping fight hunger in communities across the country," says Peggy Hornell, senior director, Community Investment, Loblaw Companies Limited. "We encourage all of our customers to make any amount of cash donation or non-perishable food items they can, so together we can make a real difference in the lives of those in need."

Loblaw grocery stores have a long history of supporting food banks in their local communities. In 2009, the Company rebranded its efforts under the Extra Helping™ Food Drive, a bi-annual, national campaign to reduce hunger. Since then Loblaw stores have raised more than $5.6 million and more than 6.3 million pounds of food. In addition, through annual corporate donations, Loblaw has contributed $1.125 million to date to Food Banks Canada in support of their National Food Sharing Program.

About Food Banks BC

Food Banks BC is the provincial association of 92 member food banks across the province!   Our vision is a hunger-free future, and we work hard to support and inspire each one of our member food banks so that they can in turn, achieve hunger-free communities all over BC.   Every year through the National Food Sharing System (NFSS), we distribute more than one million pounds of food to community food banks.  Plus, through our BC Sharing coupons program, food banks in our province are able to work directly with their local grocery stores to receive food donations, every time a shopper scans a BC Share coupon.    Last year, our food banks helped close to 100,000 people throughout the province…. 30 per cent were children!

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.

SOURCE: Loblaw Companies Limited

For further information:

Loblaw Public Relations Department
(905) 459-2500 or 

Laura Lansink
Executive Director
Food Banks BC

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