What is Alberta Shares?
Alberta Shares is a provincial program that offers consumers a simple way to support their local food bank while shopping. Modelled after a program initiated in British Columbia, Alberta Shares has been operating in this province since 2002. Since that time more than $600,000 has been raised province-wide to help local food banks purchase high-quality, nutritious food.
How does Alberta Shares work?
Donation cards are posted in a holder at all checkout counters in participating stores. Consumers have the option to make a $2 donation to their local food bank by having the barcode on the card scanned when they pay their bill. The $2 donation is added to their purchase.
Each participating store can easily track the total donations through the bar code number in their system. On a regular basis (quarterly or semi-annually) the donated funds are given to the local food bank as cash or in a gift card to purchase perishable or high demand food in the store.
Alberta Food Banks prints and distributes the cards, their holders, and any supporting materials to its members at no cost and replenishes supplies as needed.
Alberta Shares re-launched Nov. 2, 2015
By 2015, Save-On stores were the primary participants in Alberta, although a few food banks had established the program in other local grocery stores. In all, 13 food banks were receiving funds through this donation program.
The decision to re-brand and expand the program resulted in the creation of a card and holder that could be introduced into any store in Alberta to support the local food bank. With the addition of the new card, any member food bank can approach their local grocery store or independent retailer to set up this program.
We were so pleased to have Her Honour, the Honourable Lois Mitchell, the Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta help us re-launch this important donation program at a ceremony at the Strathcona Food Bank in Sherwood Park. Also in attendance were representatives from Save-On, our long-time partner in this program, as well as nearby food banks and members of the provincial food bank board of directors.
The goal is to partner every member food bank with at least one participating store in their community by June 2016. If reach, this would result in 64 food banks in Alberta receiving regular monetary donations to purchase perishable or high-demand items at their local store.
Want to know what retailers near you are participating? Check out this website albertashare.org