Thrifty Foods’ community commitment continues

Gord Simons, left, manager of Thrifty Foods at Broadmead Village, presents a cheque for $23,000 to Shannon Bernays, far right, of Easter Seals as Easter Seal campers look on. - Photo contributed
Gord Simons, left, manager of Thrifty Foods at Broadmead Village, presents a cheque for $23,000 to Shannon Bernays, far right, of Easter Seals as Easter Seal campers look on.
— image credit: Photo contributed

Thrifty Foods is one of the largest supermarket chain on Vancouver Island, and since its inception by Alex Campbell and Ernie Skinner back in 1977, the company has been committed to giving back to the community.

Now, on the eve of Thrifty Foods’ 40th anniversary, it has continued the tradition by presenting a cheque for $23,003 to Easter Seals British Columbia/Yukon, a charity committed to enriching the lives of children with disabilities.

“We’ve had a connection with Easter Seals for more than 20 years,” said Vivian Chenard, manager of community relations for Thrifty Foods. “The funds are used for both Easter Seal House, which is a place for families to stay while the children are in the hospital, and for the Easter Seal Camp operated every summer at Camp Shawnigan.”

The funds were raised in January when Thrifty’s donated 50 cents from the sale of every Thrifty Kitchens Soup. Customers were also invited to contribute to Easter Seals by donating their three-cent reusable bag refund or by making a donation at the till.

But the bigger story is how this latest gift is only a part of the charitable initiatives of the company.

For example, for 30 years Thrifty Foods has been a regular contributor to food banks across B.C., having contributed more than $2.4 million in groceries during that time. Their annual Fresh Food for Families and B.C. Sharing programs annually provide 15 community food banks with nearly $400,000.

In another initiative, Thrifty Foods devised an innovative way for area residents to donate to a community organization of their choice. It’s called the Smile Card program and hundreds of community charities have registered so that Thrifty Food customers who support their cause can simply show the Smile Card linked to that organization and donate five per cent of the funds loaded on the gift card to that group.

More than $6 million has been raised for community groups in this way. The list of other gifts and giving initiatives continues and, according to Chenard, is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to its roots.

“Since day one we’ve always given back to the community. It’s one of the pillars of our corporate culture to be in the community and work to make it better.”

During their anniversary celebrations, a different charity will be targeted every month. At the end of February, the Heart and Stroke Foundation will receive a donation for their work in the community.

Thrifty Foods became a division of Sobeys Inc. in 2007, but continues to operate independently in B.C. Information on the charitable initiatives of Thrifty Foods can be found at



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