Donations of Loblaw rebate cards are starting to trickle in to the North Bay Food Bank. So far it has received a dozen cards totalling $300.
"One of the earliest stories that came out, a few people had said 'Let's turn a negative into a positive, and I'm going to donate mine to the food bank when it comes in," said Food Bank manager, Amber Livingstone. "So I think across Canada you're seeing that happen a little bit here and there, where people are saying 'You know what? I got my $25, I don't need it, I'm going to donate it and let it go to a better cause.' That is really wonderful. It's a great gift."
The cards are already making a difference.
"Last week we were purchasing our regular order from No Frills. It wasn't a big order, it came to $87.00. I had four of those gift cards, so it was a freebie, which was great."
People are going ahead and activating their card prior to donating it to the food bank.
"It comes with a sticker that says you can activate it online, or you can call a number to activate it. Once it's activated it's ready to use. You can check your balance online at any time, or by calling that number," explained Livingstone.
"It's helpful for us too. As we've been using them, we've been able to see what's left on the card, and keep track of it that way."
Livingstone says the number of people who depend on the food bank is holding steady.
"That is anywhere between 11-hundred and 13-hundred a month. We're fortunate that the numbers aren't going up for us."
The message to donate regularly is being heard.The food of the month promotion is working.
"We're seeing more of those specific items coming in from the grocery stores. This month for March it is brown beans, and we are seeing more of those items coming in."
Donations can be dropped off on Monday's and Tuesday's from 9 a.m to 4 p.m., on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 until 6 and Friday's from 10 until 4.