The 2012 Food for Families campaign is underway at Thrifty Foods! This annual holiday-season drive helps community food banks feed those in need at Christmastime as well as throughout the year.
The program is offered at all of Thrifty Foods' stores. Customers have the option to add a $5, $10, or $20 coupon to their grocery order at the checkout, which is then used by the various food banks to buy fresh, nutritious food.
In the Victoria area, these food banks include the Mustard Seed, Goldstream Food Bank and Sidney Lions Food Bank.
According to Brent Palmer, Director of Food Bank Services at the Mustard Seed, providing festive, nutritious food during the holiday season is a delicate balancing act. Donations collected through the Fresh Food for Families program are deposited into the food bank's account. Their buyer then works out food orders to put together Christmas hampers - some of them custom built to take into consideration medical issues. The need grows each year. "The Mustard Seed feeds about 7,000 people every month," says Palmer.
Other food banks on the Island benefitted by the Fresh Food for Families program include the CMS Food Bank Society in Mill Bay, Cowichan Valley Basket Society in Duncan, Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank in Nanaimo, Salt Spring Island Community Services, the Salvation Army Parksville Mt. Arrowsmith, Comox Valley Salvation Army in Courtenay and the Campbell River and District Food Bank Society.
Thrifty's customers' kindness and generosity each year is heartwarming. Last year, Fresh Food For Families raised $206,000 for local food banks, and since its inception, the program has raised more than $850,000 for over 15 local food banks across the province.