Victoria grocer’s holiday campaign helps to fill food banks

Sixteen food banks on Vancouver Island, Saltspring Island and the Lower Mainland are receiving bags of groceries and money, thanks to Thrifty Foods.

The 2012 holiday campaign, backed by the grocery chain’s customers and staff in its 29 stores, raised $274,817. Of the total, more than $87,000 went to the Mustard Seed Food Bank in Victoria. Other recipients of the donations include the Goldstream and Sidney Lions food banks, Cowichan Valley Basket Society in Duncan, Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank in Nanaimo and the Comox Valley Salvation Army.

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Pallets full of grocery products were loaded up Wednesday at Thrifty Foods’ warehouse on Mills Road north of the Victoria International Airport. The grocery order is the largest filled at the warehouse, the company said.

The Mustard Seed’s order included 800 pounds of potatoes, 600 pounds of carrots and 200 pounds of onions, plus other staples such as peanut butter, pasta and sugar. All told, the items will last 11Ú2 weeks.

“More than 7,000 Victoria-area families will eat well thanks to the success of this program,” said Brent Palmer, Mustard Seed Food Bank director and vice-president of Food Banks B.C.

Thrifty’s annual food for families and B.C. sharing programs raise $400,000 annually. Thrifty makes daily donations to food banks. “The program has provided for those in need in our community and we commend those who donated, for their selfless act in providing the gift of fresh food for families during the holiday season,” said Thrifty Foods GM Jim Dores.

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