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Money How ‘not donating’ your $25 Loblaw gift card can actually help the food bank

19:55  04 march  2018
19:55  04 march  2018 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Since Loblaw announced it would be giving out $ 25 gift cards in response to its role in a bread price-fixing scheme, Canadian charities have reported a surge of people looking to donate them. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB)

LISTEN: Donating your Loblaws gift card to the food bank . READ MORE: Should you sign up for Loblaw ’s $ 25 gift card ? That’s because when they get the cards , food banks are forced to buy food at retail stores, rather than through their bulk wholesale suppliers.

Loblaw's $25 card is likely a shrewd strategy to reduce legal costs, says experts.© Nathan Denette/CP Loblaw's $25 card is likely a shrewd strategy to reduce legal costs, says experts.

Since Loblaw announced it would be giving out $25 gift cards in response to its role in a bread price-fixing scheme, Canadian charities have reported a surge of people looking to donate them.

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB) says their organization and its sister groups are more than happy to accept the cards, but says would-be donors can actually triple their assistance by not donating the cards.

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Loblaw Companies Ltd. hit by PC Optimum costs

  Loblaw Companies Ltd. hit by PC Optimum costs BRAMPTON, Ont. - Loblaw Companies Ltd. reported a drop in its fourth-quarter profit compared with a year ago, hit by costs related to the announcement of its PC Optimum loyalty rewards program. The company merged the Shoppers Optimum and PC Plus programs this year under the PC Optimum brand. The retailer, which includes Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart, says its profit available to common shareholders totalled $19 million or five cents per share for the quarter. That compared with a profit of $201 million or 50 cents per share in the final quarter of 2016.On an adjusted basis, Loblaw says its earnings available to common shareholders totalled $441 million or $1.

$ 25 LOBLAW CARD . Loblaw discovered that Canadians were overcharged for the cost of some packaged bread products in our stores and other grocery stores across Canada.

READ MORE: How ‘ not donating ’ your $ 25 Loblaw gift card can actually help the food bank . “We think it’s sensible to have safeguards in place, and to make sure the interests of our customers are protected.

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Should you sign up for Loblaw’s $25 gift card?

That's because when they get the cards, food banks are forced to buy food at retail stores, rather than through their bulk wholesale suppliers, explained GVFB CEO Aart Schuurman Hess.

"When we receive gift cards, we have to do our shopping in the store and pay with those gift cards, and pay retail prices," Schuurman Hess told CKNW's Jill Bennett Show.

"To give you a perfect example, when we buy apples straight from the farm, we pay between 25 and 30 cents a pound. When we have to to go to the store, that amount is much higher. That's where the buying power comes in."

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Loblaws $ 25 gift card registration now open, but there's a catch. Brenda Clarke and her husband, Chris Wood, above, plan to donate their $ 25 Lobaw gift cards to the food bank .

Registration is now open for those $ 25 Loblaws gift cards , made available to the public after it was revealed the grocer played a part in fixing bread prices for more than a decade. Many people have suggested donating the card to a food bank instead of keeping it.

Schurmann Hess says food banks prefers cash donations, because they can take that money and buy in bulk from local farmers and large suppliers -- transforming every donated dollar into $3 worth of food.

Turning the cards to cash to power-up donations

Schurmann Hess says the charity will still gladly accept the cards, but he recommends would-be donors take another approach instead: use the card at the store to buy yourself $25 worth of food, then make a $25 cash donation to the food bank.

A cash donation will also get you a charitable donation tax receipt — something you'll miss out on if you just give the card.

Schurmann Hess says the GVFB, which serves about 27,000 people a week in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and the North Shore, is also educating its members on how to apply for the gift cards themselves.

Loblaw began accepting registrations for the $25 gift cards in January, after admitting its part in an industry-wide bread price-fixing arrangement.

To qualify for a gift card, you must not be a minor and must declare you bought certain packaged bread products at eligible banner stores in Canada before March 1, 2015.

You can register for one of the cards here. Registration closes May 8.

Privacy commissioner investigating Loblaw .
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada said Wednesday it has opened a full investigation into how Loblaw Companies Ltd. has required customers to produce personal identification to secure a $25 gift card related to the alleged bread price-fixing scandal. The investigation comes after a formal complaint to the office, as well as numerous inquiries to its information centre and through its Twitter feed, said spokeswoman Tobi Cohen. "We have reached out 0000

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