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Updated: 22nd September 2018 06:48

Campaign grows to donate rebate gift cards to food banks

Save-On-Foods has joined the gift card campaign, offering $25 rebates to members of its loyalty program that can be donated directly to the Calgary Food Bank. The move stems from a bread price-fixing scandal that didn't involve the grocery store chain.

Save-On-Foods joins effort despite not being involved in price-fixing scandal

A group of volunteers at the Calgary Food Bank. The food bank is benefiting from a campaign to donate grocery store rebate gift cards. (Jen Little/Calgary Food Bank)

The social media campaign urging Calgarians to give the Calgary Food Bank their free grocery store gift cards — available to customers after a bread price-fixing scandal — just got a little more streamlined, thanks to Save-On-Foods.

The food chain, which has stores across Alberta, Saskatchewan and B.C., announced it's offering $25 gift cards to people who were members of its More Rewards loyalty program prior to Dec. 31, 2017.

The announcement comes despite Save-On-Foods not being part of the price-fixing probe that caused Loblaws to announce its gift card program in the first place.

The companies being investigated by the Competition Bureau are Weston Bakeries, Canada Bread, Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro, Walmart and Giant Tiger.

Save-On-Foods gift card recipients can donate them directly to their local food bank through the company's website.

With the announcement that Save-On-Foods has joined Loblaws in offering gift cards, Calgary Food Bank spokesperson Shawna Ogston said that could only be a positive development for her organization.

"If they're going to compete with each other to the benefit of food banks across the country, this is amazing," Ogston said on the Calgary Eyeopener Thursday.

Save-On-Foods, which wasn't involved in the bread price-fixing scandal, is joining Loblaws in giving loyal customers free gift cards worth $25. (Camille Gris Roy/CBC)

'Hunger doesn't stop after Christmas'

She added that the food bank continues to need public support in the form of donations, despite running a successful holiday season campaign that included a donation of more than $1.4 million from the CBC Food Bank Drive.

"Hunger doesn't stop after Christmas," she said. "And I know that Calgarians were so generous in November and December. The need is still out there. Bills are still high. The furnaces are still on. So hunger is still going to exist." 

"This will go a long way to making sure we have  guaranteed funds in the bank to purchase items for the hampers."

As far as the process goes, Ogston said there are a variety of ways to donate.

"It's going to depend on each individual, how they want to donate," Ogston said.

"Perhaps you want to purchase an item and donate it at the store while you're using your gift card," she said. "Or donate it to us and we'll use them to purchases the items we need to fill our hampers."


With files from the Calgary Eyeopener and Karin Larsen, CBC

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