The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch has reversed course and is welcoming the Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles back to the front of their stores.
The Sally Ann had been asked to stay away due to two other donation drives already underway inside B.C. Liquor Stores and an effort to not overwhelm customers.
Stores are collecting funds for Food Banks B.C. until Dec. 31 and running their Share-a-Bear program, in which customers can purchase one bear to take home while another donated to a shelter, hospital or charity in the community.
“One of our concerns was that the food bank campaign would suffer if people had already made a donation to the kettle campaign outside of our stores,” said a statement Monday from the Liquor Distribution Branch.
The statement noted that 15 per cent of Food Banks B.C. members are represented by the Salvation Army, meaning that in a number of communities, donations collected in the stores directly support The Salvation Army.
“Having said that, recognizing the short notice, we do not want to create hardship for the Salvation Army and will welcome them outside BCL stores this holiday season,” the statement said.
The Liquor Distribution Branch says it has raised more than $2.75 million in support of food banks throughout the province since beginning its partnership with Food Banks B.C. in April 2020.
— With a file from the Times Colonist