April 4, 2020

Galen Weston photograph

Galen talks about getting help to those in greater need

Hi Everyone,

You have all been amazing at sending in positive stories about the great things you have seen in your local stores over the last couple of weeks. I heard one the other day that I loved, about a very kind customer who walked into one of our supermarkets and began handing out handwritten cards to our colleagues expressing thanks for their efforts. On top of that, each envelope had $40 in it. The store team was so appreciative of the sentiment that within minutes they made the decision to pay it forward by pooling all that money together to buy groceries for a few local seniors in need. I thought it perfectly captured the community spirit that is helping us all get through this.

It was also a reminder that even with all the support coming from our local, provincial, and federal governments, the number of vulnerable people facing new hardship is growing every day. So, I thought I would use this note to share some information for those who either need help or might be able to provide some. Each year, our President’s Choice Children’s Charity funds 72 million meals for kids who rely on in-school hunger and nutrition programs. The sad fact is that right now, with schools across the country closed, we can’t serve a single one. So, in the last few days, we’ve made the decision to release $10 million in funding to work with partners like Boys and Girls Clubs to reach directly into the community and find new ways to feed hungry children. If you need this sort of help, or you want to support it, click here.

As we adjust how we run our stores, and we all adapt to new ways to shop and feed our families, food banks are doing the same. Just think of the challenge they’re facing. Like the in-school programs, they can’t gather and feed people like normal, and there are more Canadians at their door than ever before. Yesterday, $100 million of federal funding to address this challenge was announced. And for our part, we are donating $5 million to top up the $15 million worth of our gift cards already being purchased by several charities in order to get food directly into vulnerable communities. If you could use some support, or want to pitch in, you can find all the details here.

One more thing. We have made the decision to continue our usual Spring Food Drives this year. It may seem a bit strange under these strained conditions, but the need is great, and I know that many of you still really want the opportunity to help. So, when you are in our stores, and if you are able to, please consider putting an extra item in the bin or making a small donation as you check out. It will stay local and feed someone in your community.

We all need a little comfort these days, and I hope you’re finding yours. At a time when all of us feel vulnerable, the most vulnerable among us need our support more than ever. We’re going to keep thinking of more ways to help. I hope you will too.

Be kind

Galen Weston signature

Galen Weston

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