Give us your bread money: Food bank appeals for Dominion price-fixing rebates

A St. John's food bank is hoping to benefit from a grocery store campaign to reimburse customers following an industry-wide price-fixing of bread.

Bridges to Hope manager says gift cards would be put to good use helping them bake bread for clients

Jody Williams is the manager of the Bridges to Hope food bank on Cookstown Road in St. John's. (Paula Gale/CBC)

A St. John's food bank is hoping to benefit from a grocery store campaign to reimburse customers following an industry-wide price-fixing arrangement.

Anyone who purchased a loaf of bread from Dominion/Loblaws between 2002 and 2015 is eligible to apply for a $25 gift card, after the chain admitted participating in the price-fixing.

That gave Jody Williams, the manager at the Bridges to Hope food bank, an idea.

"When I saw this it occurred to me that if I can get people to sign up for this card and donate it to Bridges of Hope, then we will take the money from the overpriced bread to make free bread for our clients," he told the St. John's Morning Show.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. is offering customers a $25 gift card as a goodwill gesture after admitting the company participated in an industry-wide bread price-fixing arrangement. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

The food bank bakes about 40 loaves of bread a week for its clients.

Williams said the cards could also be used to buy items that Bridges to Hope needs for its pantry shelves.

The food bank launched a campaign on Tuesday encouraging people to register for a rebate and then donate it to Bridges for Hope. There's a link on the food bank website to make signing up easier.

"A lot of people, probably myself included, might not necessarily sign up for a $25 gift card. But then when I thought of it as donating it, I thought a lot more people might be interested in signing up. It literally takes about two minutes," Williams said.

Social media campaign

Williams said he would prefer if people dropped their Dominion cards off at the food bank on Cookstown Road, but a pick-up could be arranged if necessary.

To help get the word out, Williams has also created the hashtag #breadforbridges with the hope people will post on social media when they've made their donation.

"Hopefully today it will go viral and we will get some people signing up," he said.

With files from St. John's Morning Show