June 16th, 2024

Fundraiser brews support for food banks

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on December 24, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

As the demand for food continued to increase, and food banks across the province are running at full capacity, Original Joe’s has come up with a creative and festive way to fundraise to help out.

Vice-president of operations with Original Joe’s, Adam Powell said they wanted to take the opportunity and use the holiday season, to give back to guesting communities of all their stores in Western Canada.

He said they are aware of the financial pressure on individuals and families through the holiday season to try and put food on the table, with the cost of groceries and general inflation.

“So, what better partner to have than Food Banks of Canada and some of their affiliates to help people in time of need and get through the holidays. It’s nice to be able to inject some cash into that charity, so hopefully they can make a difference in all of our local communities and food banks across Western Canada,” said Powell.

 He said OJ’s restaurants are hosting Jolly Beer Month through the month of December at more than 50 restaurant and bar locations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

 “We thought the best fun festive way to help, was by using one of our highest selling items, which is our Original Joe’s blonde lager. So we’re donating $3 from every serving in both our 18-ounce and 22-ounce sizes,” said Powell.

He said the goal is to raise $100,000 total across western Canada and they are pretty close to reaching it, with just over a week left in the campaign which will end on Dec. 31.

“We’ll be pulling all of those sales by location and donating appropriately to the closest food bank, so really try to make it a community focused effort rather than having and after the new year we’ll be getting some cheques for all the local food banks,” said Powell.

He said the funds collected in their Lethbridge locations will be donated to the Interfaith Food Bank.

Executive director for the Interfaith Food bank, Danielle McIntyre, said the help is very much appreciated and very well timed.

“We’re always grateful for this kind of support, especially for fundraisers where we get to smile and say thank you when it’s all over,” said McIntyre.

 She said they have experienced a lot of increasing demand this year and any additional funds that come in to help them make sure they have food available for the people who need it, is gratefully accepted.

 McIntyre said this donation coming in January is well timed as it will help them replenish after a very busy holiday season.

 “We recruit the majority of our support during the season of giving from Thanksgiving until Christmas. We have to use what we raise now to get us through at least the first part of the next year,” said McIntyre.

 She explained that not all of the funds that come in from Christmas campaigns are not necessarily received and used directly for the Christmas support, but there might be money that is being used for future support or replacing money that they had to spend in advance.

“Several of us (organizations) will have well overspent the amount that we had budgeted for this Christmas, primarily because everything cost so much more than when we originally planned,” said McIntyre.

She said running into those problems of overspending is one of the reasons why she asks members of the community to not forget about the food bank after the Christmas season is over.

“People need to eat all year round, and we have to go into that new year with some sort of a surplus if we’re going to plan on making it through the whole year, so in that aspect this donation from OJs is very well-timed,” said McIntyre.

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