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Local businesses partner with Food Bank

Both RONA locations in North Bay will be raising money for the North Bay Food Bank during the month of September.

The fundraiser is part of a nation-wide campaign by Lowes Canada which encourages stores across Canada to raise money for local charities or non-profit organizations.

Carlo Guido, co-owner of the two RONA locations in North Bay, says that the inclusion of his stores in a fundraising campaign was welcome news.

“It was just a wonderful announcement and we’re very excited about it,” he said.

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Guido says the RONA locations normally make a point of supporting youth in sports, often sponsoring local teams. Guido was given the choice by Lowes to choose the charity to which he intends on donating. He says the North Bay Food Bank was an easy choice.

“I hope I’m wrong, but I believe this fall and winter we will see the real effects of COVID. I don’t know how many CERB programs or government programs will be around so I think there’s going to be some hunger,” Guido said.

As for what the fundraising drive will look like, Guido says that it will be a collective effort from everyone at his stores.

“We have 100 percent of our staff engaged in this fundraising campaign,” he said. ”Even our delivery drivers are going to mention it to the clients we deliver to that this is a campaign that we care about, that we’re passionate about and hopefully they can help us out.”

Customers at the store from September 1 to 30 will have the option to add a donation to their purchase.

Debbie Marson, Executive Director of the North Bay Food Bank, says that the money raised will be helpful in addressing an anticipated increase in clients.

“We’re looking to see another uptick in numbers because CERB will be ending and we know that people are going to be back to where they were in their levels of income and they’ll be needing our support,” she said.

The Food Bank has received government support throughout the pandemic. Marson says that she expects the government money to stop, which makes the RONA partnership more valuable.

“We’re getting to the point now where just like everything else that’s coming to an end. To have RONA step up when there’s likely going to be less funding from government channels and we’re going to need to go back to community funding… it’s big for us,” Marson explained.

Marson also says that the Food Bank will be welcoming any and all fundraising efforts in the coming months. She encourages anyone doing so to reach out so it can be promoted through the Food Bank.

For the RONA campaign, Lowes Canada says that it will match its stores’ donations by 50 percent up to a maximum of $2,000.

Guido says that his goal is “as much cash as possible.”

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