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Local grocery stores donate $2000 in healthy food to Victoria kids

Through donations, delivery services and daily bread, these grocers connect our community
Daryl Fediw, store manager at Thrifty Foods James Bay (left) and Ray Gudmundson, store manager at Thrifty Foods Fairfield, donated $2000 in groceries to local charities.

It’s much easier to grow and learn when you’re not distracted by a grumbling tummy. So when two Victoria Thrifty Foods store managers had the opportunity to donate to any local charity, both chose to help feed kids in schools.

Daryl Fediw, store manager of James Bay Thrifty Foods, is donating $1000 in food to Back Pack Buddies. The organization gives school aged children in Victoria nutritious food to take home on weekends, filling a gap left by many school lunch programs.

Ray Gudmundson, store manager of Fairfield Thrifty Foods, is donating $1000 in food to the Emergency Food Supply at Sir James Douglas Elementary School.

“The school needs a small amount of food on a regular basis. Almost every day, four or five kids will forget their lunch or don’t have enough nutrition to keep them energized throughout the day. Working with Sir James Douglas Elementary was such a perfect opportunity, especially as a grocery store, to provide nutritious food to kids in need,” Gudmundson says, noting that many of the Fairfield store’s customers have a strong connection to the school.

Sendial program celebrates 35 years

Thrifty Foods supports the community through more than just charitable donations. The Sendial program, which delivers groceries to local seniors and others who can’t get out to the store to shop independently is celebrating 35 years this month. The program started at five Thrifty Foods stores, including James Bay and Fairfield, and is still going strong thanks to the tireless efforts of committed volunteers.

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Fresh look, fresh food!

Last April, James Bay Thrifty Foods completed a major renovation which brought tasty new services and a more convenient shopping experience to the store. Ready-to-eat options like a custom sandwich bar and pizza-by-the-slice have been popular since the renovation, alongside fresh seafood, floral, meat, deli and bakery items.

“Our customers and staff were incredibly patient as we completed this full, inside-outside reno. Departments shuffled around at times, but we’ve heard great feedback from customers over the last year,” Fediw says.

Looking ahead, Fairfield Thrifty Foods is excited to be planning a renovation of their own in the coming months. Shoppers will still be able to grab groceries throughout the process, and when it’s complete there will be even more great local products in store.

Thrifty Foods loves supporting local farmers, and you’ll find a seriously local farm right in the produce department! Infarm grows fresh herbs and lettuce in a tiny greenhouse unit — there’s nothing more fresh than that.

Front line heroes

Through pandemic precautions, supply chain disruptions and weather-related delays, the dedicated team at Thrifty Foods has worked hard to continue serving customers.

“As you can well imagine, there’s an added amount of stress on all front-line workers. I’m super proud of my team, of the brave face they’ve put on day-in and day-out, and the extra efforts they’ve made to ensure our customers feel comfortable and safe,” Gudmundson says. “From our drivers to our cashiers, everyone has risen to the occasion.”

Visit Thrifty Foods James Bay at 475 Simcoe St., and Thrifty Foods Fairfield at 1590 Fairfield Rd.