GREAT TEACHERS: Thrifty Foods supports community initiatives

Grocery chain works regularly with school groups around Greater Victoria

Thrifty Foods is accustomed to getting involved in its communities, especially the school community.

Its Smile Card purchase program has for years offered groups from parent advisory councils to school bands an opportunity to raise much-needed funds for initiatives benefitting students.

Supporting Great Teachers was a natural extension of that program.

“Teachers are a part of our community and we support our community,” says Vivian Chenard, manager of community relations for Thrifty Foods.

“It’s valuable to be able to acknowledge the work they do with our children, (who are)  our future. They are taught and are learning so many valuable things.”

While Thrifty’s dealings with schools frequently comes with PACs, teachers are often directly involved.

At Oaklands elementary, for example, the PAC has raised more than $48,000 since 2005 with the Smile Card programs to purchase library books and learning resource software, among other items administered by teachers.

Thrifty’s gets involved in other events and initiatives involving children and youth, including proactive work in teaching children good nutritional habits.

As part of its Eat Well, Get Moving! program in March, a group of students from Lochside elementary in Saanich went on a scavenger hunt in the Broadmead store seeking healthy foods, led by registered dieticians from the company and Island Health.

“Since we opened our doors in 1977, our philosophy has always been give it back to the community,” Chenard says. “Nothing’s changed today.”

ddescoteau@vicnews.com