Island community urged to claim Loblaws $25 ‘bread money’ cards for Food Bank

‘If 3,000 Manitoulin people give their $25 gift cards to Island Food Bank that’s $75,000!’

MANITOULIN—A group of Island residents have taken on what is quickly becoming a national movement to donate their $25 Loblaws gift cards the Manitoulin Food Bank.

“My wife and I heard that people were registering and then donating their cards to their local food bank on CBC,” explained Dr. Roy Jeffery. “A lot of communities have been doing this. I posted on the Facebook page Resilient Manitoulin that we should do this as an Island and donate the cards to the Manitoulin Family Resources  (MFR) food bank and got a good response.”

Dr. Jeffery also reached out to people he knew in various communities across Manitoulin asking for their feedback.

“People thought it was a good idea,” he said. “If we get 1,000 people in a couple of the Island communities to do this we could raise $25,000 to $75,000 for MFR.”

Loblaws Companies Ltd. is offering customers $25 gift cards to individuals who bought packaged bread products at any of their stores before March 1, 2015. This gesture comes on the heals of Loblaws admitting its part in a bread price-fixing scheme.

“Loblaws discovered that Canadians were overcharged for the cost of some packaged bread products in our stores and other grocery stores across Canada,” Loblaws states on its website. “In response, we’re offering eligible customers a $25 Loblaws card, which can be used to purchase items sold in our grocery stores across Canada. Registering for and obtaining the $25 Loblaws card will not affect customers’ right to participate in any class action or to receive any incremental compensation that may be awarded by the court.”

Since the cards became available (through registering at loblawcard.ca), a number of people across Canada have taken to social media encouraging fellow Canadians to register and donate their card to a food bank in their community.

“To register you just need to visit the website and fill out your name, age and where you purchased the bread product between January 1, 2002 and March 1, 2015,” explained Dr. Jeffery.

You must be 18 years or older to register for a card in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec or Saskatchewan and 19 years or older if you live in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut or the Yukon.

The stores included under the Loblaws umbrella are: Atlantic Superstore, Bloor Street Market, Cash & Carry, Club Entrepôt, Dominion (in Newfoundland & Labrador), Extra Foods, Fortinos, Independent City Market, Loblaws City Market, Maxi, Maxi & Cie, No Frills, Presto, Provigo, Provigo Le Marché, Real Canadian Superstore, Real Canadian Wholesale Club, Valu-mart, Wholesale Club, Your Independent Grocer or Zehrs.

The bread products that qualify you for the card include: Ben’s Bread, Bon Matin Bread, Country Harvest Bread, Dempster’s Bread, D’Italiano Bread, Gadoua Bread, McGavin’s Bread, No Name Bread, Old Mill Bread, POM Bread, Weston Bread or Wonder Bread.

Registration forms must be submitted by May 8 of this year in order to be eligible.

Loblaws also states that it reserves the right to limit the total number of cards issued under the program, but had publically stated that it expects three to six million customers to receive cards.

“This is a great way to help out our food bank,” said Dr. Jeffery. “It takes approximately six weeks to get the cards after you register so we are hoping to set up drop off locations across Manitoulin to make it easy for people to donate to MFR. This could be an enormous boon for MFR and it just takes two minutes to register.”

Currently, the health centres across Manitoulin have signed on to be drop off locations as well as several churches.

“The pursuit of this initiative on the heels of the generous support we received for our Christmas hamper campaign speaks so highly of the community in which we live,” commented MFR Executive Director Marnie Hall Brown.  “Cards that are donated will go towards the ongoing purchase of food items needed for the Food Bank, as the need continues through all seasons. The support that we receive from the community is tremendous and this community challenge is yet another example of the amazing ability of those on Manitoulin finding ways to support and care for the needs of fellow Islanders.”

To register for your Loblaws gift card, visit www.loblawcard.ca.