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Shaw Centre and Loblaw serve up huge food donation

The Shaw Centre and Loblaw Companies Ltd. have made a huge contribution to the National Capital Region’s food banks. Last week, at the conclusion of Loblaw’s national conference held at the Shaw Centre, volunteers spent several days packaging up enough perishable and non-perishable food to fill four 53-foot trailers. The 104,437 pounds (47,471 kg) of food delivered to the Ottawa Food Bank and Gatineau’s Moisson Outaouais represents the single biggest donation ever received by area food banks and according to Statistics Canada metrics is worth almost $275,000. In addition to the truckloads of food, Loblaw’s discount division previously donated 7,500 bags of most-needed items to the food banks.

“We were so proud to participate in this important donation,” said Nina Kressler, President of the Centre, who was part of the army of volunteers sorting and packaging the food. “While hosting events at the Shaw Centre contributes in many ways to the region’s economy, everyone here was pleased to be a part of this project, particularly as we know it can be very difficult for food banks to meet demands during the winter.”

“We were truly overwhelmed with the generosity of Loblaw, its vendors and the Shaw Centre,” noted Michael Maidment, executive director of the Ottawa Food Bank. “The amount of food that arrived was so much greater than anticipated that we had to utilize extra space at a local storage facility to temporarily hold some of it until we could get it distributed to our 140 partner organizations. This food will go a long way to help people in need across the city.”

“We were so grateful as we watched our nearly-empty warehouse fill up last week,” added Sonia Latulippe, Executive Director of Moisson Outaouais. “In fact, so much food arrived that we had to ask Club Piscine, a neighbouring business, to store 38 skids of the non-perishable goods for us. We are eager to redistribute this high quality bounty with the outreach community organisations that are part of our network in the fight against hunger across the Outaouais region – it will help us sustain many families in the months ahead.”

In addition to orchestrating this major food donation, the Shaw Centre has also prepared a booklet to be made available at area food banks, providing valuable nutrition tips and easy to prepare recipes featuring common staples available to food bank clients. The booklet is available for all to enjoy at http://www.shaw-centre.com/stretching-your-food-budget/ .