Orangeville Walmart wants to ‘do more’ for local food bank

December 21, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

“It was a great experience, and a very motivating one,” says Orangeville Walmart store manager Brad Marchand on the recent tour of the local food bank, which left him with a sense of wanting to “do more” for the food bank and help those in need.

“I’d love to be able to do even more to support the food bank and support the community,” is how he put it, particularly during the busiest times of the year, such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. “That would certainly be something that I’d be open to for sure.”

In Canada, Walmart stores have donated more than 11 million pounds of food to food banks across the country through a food diversion program that pairs Walmart Canada stores with a local food bank and ensures good food is donated. “I’m very proud of the organization forming this partnership,” says Mr. Marchand.

“I’ve often said that the success of the food bank is based on our fantastic volunteers, as well the great community, and donors that support the food bank,” said Heather Hayes, executive director of the Orangeville Food Bank, which last year received 40,000 pounds of food from Walmart. 

The food bank picks up items from the local Walmart twice a week. “It means we’re able to have frozen meats, and cheeses, those kinds of products that we don’t normally see in the food bank.”

In 2015, Walmart Canada announced a $1.2 million contribution to Breakfast Club of Canada and Food Banks Canada. Breakfast Club Canada programs feed 167,000 students every day in 1,455 schools across the country. The Walmart Foundation has donated more than $2 million to build capacity in Food Banks Canada and Canadian food recovery networks including Second Harvest and Quest Food Recovery. 

“There is such a great need,” Mr. Marchand added. Globally, Walmart donates one billion pounds of food in North America each year.

“I was just so impressed,” he noted about the food bank volunteers, the level of organization, and the atmosphere. “It’s such an incredible service.”

“We’ve seen numbers that we’ve never seen before,” stressed Ms. Hayes. “We may actually hit 600 people at the end of December. We are extremely busy here at the food bank.”

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