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Loblaws asks customers to use PC Optimum points to tackle food insecurity and it's not going over well

Loblaws recently sent out an email to its PC Optimum members with a special request, and the contents are enraging several customers. 

In the email, the Canadian supermarket chain announced its Giving Tuesday campaign, a day where Loblaws strives to promote generosity worldwide. 

"We're proud of the many charitable things we do to help Canadians live life well, but we'll leave all that for another day," the email reads. "Instead, and for the first time ever, we're handing over our PC Optimum platform - a direct line to millions of Canadians like you - to our partners at Food Banks Canada and Second Harvest." 

Loblaws states that fighting food insecurity is a cause they're passionate about, and cites several statistics which paint a picture of the alarming state of food insecurity in Canada.

"Total visits to food banks are up 35 per cent since 2019, and incredibly, 6.7 million Canadians are now using non-profit food services every single year," the email says. "There are ways that we can help to ease this problem, and your actions today can have a great impact." 

The email states that this week, Loblaws has made it possible for its customers to donate their PC Optimum points to the Food Banks Canada and Second Harvest organizations.

Also, from Dec. 2 to Dec. 24, you can donate to the holiday food drive at your local Loblaws to support Food Banks Canada, and the supermarket chain will match donations up to $100,000. 

Loblaws' email managed to ruffle the feathers of several PC Optimum users, who claimed that the chain exacerbates the very problem they are attempting to solve. 

One person wrote that her family "was troubled by the email we received from PC Optimum (Loblaws) asking its members to shoulder the burden of those experiencing food insecurity, when it is corporate greed from Loblaws Supermarket and other supermarkets that have put so many in precarious positions."

The person said her husband emailed back Loblaws, writing on LinkedIn "if you want to make a difference, reduce your prices. Then those of us that have recently been stretched beyond our means will be able to support essential programs like food banks and be able to help others in need." 

Other people chimed in, writing, "I was also enraged when I opened that email." 

Loblaw Companies Ltd. announced this fall that it has locked prices on all its No Name products for the next three months, until Jan. 31, 2023.

In a letter shared with some customers, Loblaw chairman and president Galen Weston Jr. claimed that rising food costs are out of the company's control and are dependent on food suppliers.

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