Giving Back to BC in Special Ways: A Year in Review

December 2021 - Community & Environment

The year 2021 saw many of our communities face one great challenge after another. And so, we wanted to show our support. Thanks in part to you, our amazing customers, we’ve just handed out the last of $198,000 in donations to both causes we’ve long supported and also many new ones that have played an especially important role in uplifting BC this year.

“We really are a very employee and customer-centric organization and the health of our communities is very important to us—I really believe this is why we all come to work,” says Michael Sherwood, CEO, Nature’s Fare Markets. “To be able to give back to the communities where our teams and customers live, work and play is very meaningful.”

For years, Nature’s Fare has supported a handful of non-profits leading the way in environmental stewardship and food access, but in this especially trying year, we wanted to expand our impact to other local causes large and small in 2021.

Here is an overview of those gifts and acts of community:

FOOD BANKS

At a time when many families are struggling to put food on the table or have been displaced by wildfires and floods, we made our annual cash donation to food banks in each community we serve—and began a new way to let customers share in giving the gift of food. 

“We recognize there are a lot people and young families who rely on food banks and we’re fortunate to be able to help them get these essentials, especially at this time of year,” says Sherwood.

Cash donations: $60,000

  • Vernon & District Food Bank – $10,000
  • Kelowna Food Bank – $10,000
  • Penticton Food Bank – $10,000
  • Langley Food Bank – $10,000
  • White Rock Food Bank – $10,000
  • Kamloops Food Bank – $10,000

Food bank bundles

This December saw customers in all stores picking up prepared food bundles of items containing goods such as cereals, soup, noodles and peanut butter that would later be dropped off at each local food bank. So far, customers have donated over $31,000 worth of food—almost 8,000 pounds—and that number continues to increase each day. THANK YOU NATURE’S FARE SUPPORTERS!!!


HOSPITAL FOUNDATIONS

In recent weeks, Nature’s Fare made gifts to local hospital foundations for the first time because, Sherwood says, the need is so great and the work so important in fostering healthy communities.

“We know there’s a lot of pressure on the system right now and our health care works have shown so much dedication. If we can show our gratitude for all they’ve done over the last 18 months, that’s the least we can do. These are all communities where our teams and our customers are, so this is very close to our hearts.”

Cash donations: $45,000

  • Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation $10,000
  • Kelowna General hospital Foundation $10,000
  • Penticton Regional Hospital foundation  $5,000
  • Royal Inland Hospital foundation $7,500
  • Peace Arch Hospital foundation $5,000
  • Langley memorial Hospital foundation $7,500

COMMUNITY CAUSES: $67,000

3% Club Non-profits: $60,000

Through the 3% Club, non-profit groups such as daycares, school parent councils and extra-curricular activity groups collect their receipts and get a cheque for 3% of their pre-tax total as a tax-free donation.

“These are all very meaningful and small grassroots community non-profits doing great work and we’re always proud to be able to give back the people supporting our stores and teams.”

Red Cross BC Wildfire Relief: $5,000

“The wildfires affected our teams and customers deeply in the Okanagan and Kamloops so we wanted to support those who suffered losses and were evacuated in those fires.”

North Okanagan Gymnastics Society: $2,000

Earlier this year, this Vernon society’s beloved community facility suffered a devastating fire. Through community support, we hope they’ll be able to rebuild and get children back on the mats.


ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES: $26,000

Nature Conservancy of Canada: $11,000

For every bring-your-own-bag customers use, we donate 5 cents to the Nature Conservancy of Canada—and have for years. After a summer of wildfires and heat waves in BC, Sherwood says protecting land and water for wildlife felt even more important.

“We believe very much in sustainability and this is a fantastic organization that earmarks funds for the conservation of land and wildlife habitat, so this cause is very close to us.”

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society of BC: $5,000

This organization is dedicated to protecting public land, freshwater and ocean to respond to biodiversity loss and climate change. 

Emerald Sea Protection Society: $5,000

This emerging organization has already making a big impact protecting sensitive marine ecosystems on BC’s west coast by mapping, recovering and safely disposing discarded fishing gear.

Organic BC: $5,000

The certifying body of organic food in BC supports producers making the transition to becoming certified organic growers and advocates for a resilient organic sector in BC.

“We only sell 100% organic produce so this work is very near and dear to our hearts,” says Sherwood. “The more certified organic food we grow, the better it is for the environment and the next generation, and our opportunities to help customers buy locally grown organic produce.”

From the bottom of our hearts, we’re so thankful for all you’ve done to support us and healthy communities in BC in 2021!!

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