Thrifty Foods' Food For Families campaign kicks off today in all 29 stores. The goal is to provide food to 16 food banks on the Island, Lower Mainland and Saltspring Island this holiday season. Jim Dores, the grocery chain's general manager, said the program provides customers with the option of adding a $5, $10 or $20 Food For Families gift voucher to their grocery order. Funds are then transformed into groceries for those in need. Last year, the Food For Families fundraiser provided $206,000 to local food banks and has raised more than $800,000 since the program began. "It could not come at a better time," said Brent Palmer, director of Victoria's Mustard Seed Food Bank and vice-president of Food Banks B.C. "Our need this year is greater than ever, and Thrifty Foods customers consistently come to the rescue of the 7,000 Victoria residents who access our food hampers monthly." The fundraiser also supports the Gold-stream Food Bank, Sidney Lions Food Bank, CMS Food Bank Society, Cowichan Valley Basket Society as well as Salt-spring Island Community Services. It also supports several foodbanks in the mid-Island region.