Forward Together Campaign Gives Back to the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank

On May 17, UFCW Local 401 launched the Loblaw Forward Together website to educate members and the public about the difference between union and non-union Loblaw locations. A feature on the website included a price comparison of products at unionized and non-unionized locations to show customers that it is not more expensive, but rather cheaper to shop at unionized Loblaw locations. You may be wondering where all of the food that was purchased for this comparison went.

The 50-plus pounds of food went to those in the Calgary area who could really use it. The Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank is always in need of donations given that over 130,000 people have used the Emergency Food Hamper Program in the last year. The Food Bank itself welcomed over 14,000 new clients in the same year.

While the union’s donation was relatively small in comparison to the need, Julie Brewster was very thankful because every little bit helps out. Just to put things in perspective, the Food Bank distributes 7.8 million Kilograms of food valued at over $27.4 million each year. So every donation goes towards helping someone in need.

One of the most shocking facts that Union Organizer Joe Irving discovered when dropping off the donation is that 35% of households requesting a food hamper contain at least one employed individual. “I think this surprising fact perfectly illustrates what UFCW Local 401 has been saying all along,” said Irving. “With the lowest minimum wage in the country, working people still need assistance in a province that is booming economically.”

UFCW Local 401 is looking to provide all Loblaw employees the union advantage by negotiating fair union contracts that include a living wage. The union and other labour organizations understand that it is not actually possible to live in Alberta on the province’s minimum wage. We are working to get information to Albertans about the changes needed to ensure that no working Albertans is required to visit or depend on a food bank. Those changes are badly needed given that there has been a 52% increase in visits to food banks since 2008.

For more information on how you can benefit from the union advantage, contact UFCW Local 401 confidentially by calling 1-877-GO-UNION (1-877-468-6466) or emailing joinus@877gounion.ca