Serving Our Communities

Giving back to more than 900 communities from coast-to-coast.

At Sobeys, we take our commitment to “Proudly Serve Our Communities” to heart. That’s why we’re giving back to the more than 900 communities we serve across the country. This dedication to community service is closely tied to the legacy of the Sobey family and their continued commitment to philanthropic initiatives that play an important role in enhancing the lives of Canadians.

Together, we support many national initiatives that promote the well being of families and children – including health, wellness, education and scholarship programs. However, the major focus is placed on the local communities where our employees and franchisees live, work and generously give their time and talent in support of community events and causes.

Here are just some of the ways we’ve made a difference over the past year.

Helping the Hungry

Our passion for food extends beyond our stores and into the communities in which we operate. Every year we help feed the hungry by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars and donating millions of pounds of food.

  • Sobeys customers, employees and suppliers in Atlantic Canada came together to raise over $522,870 in food and cash donations for food banks throughout the Atlantic provinces in the fourth annual Fill the Food Bank, Fuel the Community campaign in November 2014. Through the generosity of customers and enthusiasm of our employees, more than $3.6 million has been raised over the past five years for food banks across Atlantic Canada.
  • Retail Support Centres (RSCs) in Ontario provided over 400,000 lbs of fresh and non-perishable food to Second Harvest, a charity that picks up and transports surplus food to over 200 agencies in Toronto. Every day, Second Harvest rescues and redistributes enough fresh food for approximately 20,000 meals.
  • Sobeys is North York Harvest Food Bank’s Donor of the Year. Office employees in Ontario donated over 13,175 lbs of food to the North York Harvest Food Bank in a continued effort to help feed the hungry.
  • Holiday food drives in IGA stores in Québec collected $560,000 worth of non-perishable food and cash donations for local food banks and organizations throughout the province.
  • Sobeys and IGA customers, employees and suppliers in Western Canada came together to raise over $628,000 for local food banks and charities during the annual Time for Sharing campaign. Over the past five years, more than $3.4 million has been raised for food banks through the generosity of our customers and the enthusiasm of our employees.
  • Sobeys and IGA stores in Western Canada participated in the fifth annual Christmas in July store cut-out campaign. More than $120,000 was raised through customer donations and corporate matching to support less fortunate families through local food banks.
  • Thrifty Foods ‘Help End Hunger’ at the till donations raised over $60,000 in 2014 for Our Place Society, an organization that serves over 1,500 meals a day in the Greater Victoria region for those living in poverty. Thrifty Foods also supported the food recovery program by providing a refrigerated truck for Our Place Society to deliver fresh foods to the region’s vulnerable.
  • Since 1987, Thrifty Foods has offered the exclusive SENDIAL program, a shopping and home delivery service for customers with an age-related frailty, medical condition, or permanent or temporary disability preventing them from shopping in stores without assistance. The SENDIAL program is run by more than 600 dedicated volunteers and Thrifty Foods employees who take and shop customer orders, making it possible to deliver over 1,000 orders per week.

This post is also available in: French

Finding a Cure

In an effort to help improve the quality of life in our communities, we are proud to support hospitals and organizations that are helping to find a cure.

  • As the official grocery sponsor, Sobeys Inc. served over 5,000 participants and volunteers of the Ontario Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer in support of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. Participants of the event raised a record $20 million in the fight to conquer cancer.
  • FreshCo and Price Chopper raised over $115,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society through their annual Charity Classic Golf Tournament in 2014. Since 2001, FreshCo and Price Chopper stores and employees have raised over $865,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society in memory of colleagues who have lost their brave fight against cancer.
  • Through the support of employees and generosity of customers, FreshCo stores raised more than $41,000 for the Alzheimer Society of Peel in 2014. $1 donations were collected at the till and some stores hosted ‘coffee breaks’ providing refreshments in exchange of donations.
  • More than $32,000 was raised at Sobeys locations in Saskatchewan during their annual Saskatoon Centre of Care Pink Ribbon campaign in support of breast cancer research.
  • Across Québec, IGA stores teamed up with their suppliers to raise $425,000 during their Straight to Heart campaign in support of the Montréal Heart Institute Foundation.
  • Through the participation in the 2014 Mini-Tours IGA Charles-Bruneau cycling event, IGA stores in Québec raised $380,000 for the Fondation Centre de cancérologie Charles-Bruneau to support children living with cancer. Since 1983, they have raised more than $7.7 million for the foundation.
  • In Atlantic Canada, Sobeys partnered with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation as a regional sponsor of the Run for the Cure in 2014. In addition, Sobeys raised more than $40,000 thanks to the generosity of our customers to support the fight to end breast cancer.
  • Thrifty Foods raised more than $38,000 for 12 local hospital foundations on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland through the Pumpkins for Charity fundraiser in October, 2014. Thrifty Foods donated $1 for every pumpkin sold in store.
  • Thrifty Foods stores raised more than $63,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation with their “Better Food Giveaway” event in September 2014.

This post is also available in: French

Supporting Those Who Help Others

Our giving extends to organizations and events that raise funds for a multitude of charities and causes.

Through fundraising efforts in our stores and the goodwill of our customers and employees, more than $350,000 was raised to support the Canadian Red Cross with its Typhoon Haiyan relief operations. Coupled with Sobeys Inc.’s $50,000 donation, the total donation to the Red Cross is more than $400,000.

  • Sobeys Inc. participated in The Grocery Foundation’s Night to Nurture Gala as a corporate sponsor and ticket seller helping raise more than $2 million for the Kids Help Phone and Breakfast for Learning.
  • Sobeys stores in Saskatchewan raised more than $33,000 for the Kinsmen Foundation through their annual Telemiracle store cut-out campaign. The Kinsmen Foundation provides special needs equipment and access to medical assistance to Saskatchewan residents, groups and health foundations to improve quality of life and independence.
  • In February 2015, Sobeys, Foodland and FreshCo stores in Ontario raised over $250,000, and Sobeys and Foodland stores in Atlantic Canada raised over $67,000 for the Toonies for Tummies campaign. This campaign allowed customers to make a $2 donation at the till for breakfast programs to provide nutritious meals to schoolchildren in communities around participating stores.
  • In addition to their annual corporate sponsorship, Thrifty Foods employees and customers raised over $20,000 for Cops for Cancer last year through various fundraisers that were hosted and supplied by Thrifty Foods stores,

This post is also available in: French

Funding the Future

We’re helping children, youth and athletes reach their full potential.

  • Sobeys has partnered with the Government of Alberta in this year’s Healthy U campaign as a primary sponsor. Healthy U is an initiative that supports and encourages Albertans to lead healthier lifestyles by providing information and resources on healthy eating and active living.
  • Thrifty Foods’ partnership with the Pacific Institute for Sporting Excellence (PISE) has fed and fueled high performance athletes in their pursuit of Olympic gold since 2001. This includes contributing over $60,000 a year to support their day-to-day food requirements as they prepare for events around the world.
  • The Thrifty Foods Young Chef cooking, nutrition and food safety camp provided over $80,000 in subsidies to 19 local recreation centres for kids aged 9 to 12 to participate in the program. Now in its fifth year, this camp is dedicated to providing children with interactive sessions about food choices and experiences.
  • Over $229,000 was raised by Sobeys, Foodland and FreshCo stores during this year’s Paper Egg campaign benefitting Easter Seals Kids to help children from all ethnic and religious backgrounds achieve a greater level of acceptance and independence. Sobeys Ontario has been a proud supporter of Easter Seals Ontario since 2002, raising more than $2 million for the cause.
  • Sobeys proudly teamed up with KidSport Saskatchewan for KidSport month in May to raise over $10,000 through paper KidSport cutouts. KidSport provides children with the opportunity to participate in sports and develop fundamental skills such as teamwork, responsibility and perseverance.
  • In July 2014, Sobeys Québec announced a $500,000 pledge over five years to the Centre CIRCUIT (family cardiovascular re-adaptation program) of the CHU Sainte-Justine to support the development of a nutritional platform to prevent obesity and cardiovascular diseases in children.
  • As part of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) tour, young golfers attend a professional training session, the Thrifty Foods Youth Golf Classics, with all registration fees supporting the Thrifty Foods University of Victoria (UVIC) Vikes athletic award.

The Thrifty Foods Smile Card Fundraising Program donates 5% of loaded gift cards to over 625 fundraising groups in local communities. From May 2014 to April 2015, over $545,000 was donated to community support groups for projects that included rebuilding school playgrounds, renovating nonprofit buildings and heritage sites and upgrading fields and community trails.

This post is also available in: French

Celebrating Canada’s Young Artists
  • Often drawing comparisons to Britain’s Turner Prize, the Sobey Art Award is Canada’s premier art award for contemporary young artists. Created in 2002 by the Sobey Art Foundation and with prize money totaling $100,000 annually ($50,000 to the winner, $10,000 to the other four finalists; and $500 to each of the remaining longlisted artist), the Sobey Art Award was created as a means to shine a spotlight on Canada’s emerging artists and the works they produce. Starting in 2016, the Sobey Art Award is organized and administered by the National Gallery of Canada.
  • Past winners include: Brian Jungen (2002), Jean-Pierre Gauthier (2004), Annie Pootoogook (2006), Michel de Broin (2007), Tim Lee (2008), David Altmejd (2009), Daniel Barrow (2010), Daniel Young and Christian Giroux (2011), Raphaëlle de Groot (2012), Duane Linklater (2013), Nadia Myre (2014) and Abbas Akhavan (2015).
  • For more information about the Sobey Art Award click here

This post is also available in: French

This post is also available in: French