Sobeys Quebec has launched the Joy of Eating Better Foundation to formalize its commitment to helping people in Quebec and New Brunswick eat better foods and get cooking.
In 2014, the grocery retailer created the Joy of Eating Better movement, with the aim of helping customers discover new foods, eat healthy, cook more and make responsible choices. Some initiatives include in-store food fairs, a food forum for suppliers, a virtual Gourmet Squad to respond to online customers’ questions, and food drives.
The foundation was the next logical step, said Marie-Noëlle Cano, director of communications & sustainability at Sobeys Quebec.
“It became extremely important for us to make sure that we were actually making a difference in people’s lives and in society,” she said. “One of the ways we found we had a great impact was to support several causes that we’ve had partnerships with. By creating the foundation, we’re able to make that extremely real and make the message clear that we’re here for the long term and helping Quebeckers [and New Brunswickers] eat healthy is now our mission.”
The foundation is supporting six causes: Montreal Heart Institute, the Fondation Centre de cancérologie Charles-Bruneau, La Tablée des chefs, Meals on Wheels Quebec, The Joy of Eating Better food drive, and the Fondation OLO.
The Joy of Eating Better Foundation, which was launched with the banners IGA, Les Marchés Tradition, and Marché Bonichoix, is aiming to donate $1 million to its charitable partners this year. Sobeys Québec will donate $500,000 over five years, and achieving the goal will rely on in-store fundraising.
The foundation will also continue to launch initiatives around getting people to cook more often, discover new flavours and eat healthier.
The first fundraiser takes place at IGA stores Feb. 4-24 and benefits the Montreal Heart Institute. It will feature specially identified “Good For You, Good For Us” products, and for each product sold the supplier will make a .25 donation. At the checkout, customers will be asked to make a $2 donation or more.
“It might sound cliché to say this, but it’s really in our DNA to make sure that this movement lives beyond our stores and has a real impact for society,” said Cano.