Greater Victoria grocery stores help raise over $30,000 to help feed those in need amid COVID-19 pandemic

Greater Victoria grocery stores help raise over $30,000 to help feed those in need amid COVID-19 pandemic
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At a time when the community might need it the most, Greater Victoria has come together to help support the Island Food Caring campaign. Local grocery stores took part and raised $32,112 to help feed members of the CRD.

Five grocery stores – Country Grocer, Fairway Market, Red Barn Market, The Root Cellar and Thrifty Foods – all took part in the campaign that started on February 27 and ran until March 22. 

The money will support the Food Rescue Project, run by the Mustard Seed and the Food Share Network, that recovers and distributes fresh food to insecure communities in the region.

“The Food Rescue Project is supporting thousands of food insecure individuals, children, and families every year access nutritious, fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy,” said Sonja Yli-Kahila, Food Share Network coordinator.

Russ Benwell, owner and operator of Red Barn Markets said participating in the initiative was a great way to connect with the community for a good cause.

“Our team feels incredibly honoured to be working with other local grocers on the Island Food Caring campaign,” said Benwell.

“We have a passion for providing our customers with the freshest local products and we are proud to be part of a network that ensures all members of our community have access to healthy food.”

To support the campaign, residents donated at the point of purchase or through the program’s website. Donations can still be made online.

“We are in uncharted territory in the grocery business, but have been uplifted by our customer’s amplified commitment to the community during this difficult time for everyone,” said Daisy Orser, co-owner of The Root Cellar. 

Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson said some of the money raised will be used to buy items such as meat and dairy that are not as available during this time.

“This has been a time of uncertainty and hardships for many, but when you see the generosity displayed during the Island Food Caring campaign you can’t help but be filled with gratitude and hope,” said Richardson.

Food Share Network coordinator Sonja Yli-Kahila thanks all of the grocery stores for doing their part.

“We need to come together as a community to maintain this program, and by creating this campaign, the grocers are playing an important role in raising awareness of and funds for food rescue in the Capital Region.”

More information on Island Food Caring can be found on its website.

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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