49th Parallel Grocery Stores and Island Savings recently joined forces raise money for local food banks.
A total of $40,787 was raised from donations collected at 49th stores in Chemainus, Ladysmith, Duncan, and Cedar – with 49th matching donations up to $10,000 made through cash or purchasing non-perishable food bags. Island Savings donated four BBQs, valued at over $5,000, which were used as grand prizes in each community.
“With many of our seasonal fundraising events cancelled because of COVID-19, we knew that we had to find a way to raise the funds that our local food banks depend on,” says Kirsten Waller, Chemainus Branch Manager at Island Savings. “We couldn’t be prouder of our members and communities for stepping up to support this fundraiser in a big way.”
Pat Battie, director of marketing and communications for 49th Parallel said that donations far exceed what they were expecting.
“We had a lot of really generous people in and put even $100 and $50 down. It was really neat to see,” he said.
A total of 920 food bank bags worth $19.95 a piece were purchased and delivered to local food banks over the course of the food bank drive that ran from April 30 to May 29.
- Chemainus raised $17,017, including 444 bags, with $5,659 donated to the food bank account, and $2,500 from the 49th to support Harvest House Food Bank
- Ladysmith raised $13,987, including 336 bags, with $4,784 donated to the food bank account, and $2,5000 from the 49th to support the Ladysmith Food Bank
- Cedar raised $6,857, including 136 bags, with $1,144 donated to the food bank account, and $2,500 from the 49th to support Loaves and Fishes
- Duncan raised $3,422, including four bags, and $842 donated to the food bank account plus $2,5000 from the 49th to support Cowichan Valley Basket Society.
49th Parallel and Island Savings in Chemainus have a longstanding practice of partnering on seasonal fundraisers. This is the first time that all 49th Parallel stores have collaborated with Island Savings. Battie said the partnership between the two organizations will continue into the future.
“We’re really excited about doing another fundraiser,” Battie said. “The food banks are so happy… it was really good.”