Social Responsibility

We proudly serve our customers and our communities.

Together with our business units, franchisees, affiliates and employees from across Canada, we contribute millions of dollars to hundreds of community organizations each year.

From grassroots initiatives to larger partnerships, we work with our local communities to make sure more Canadians—regardless of income, age or ability—have access to affordable, wholesome food; learn basic cooking skills; and receive nutrition education so they can reach their greatest potential.

Established in 2014, the Sobeys Inc. Better Food Fund supports access to, and the advancement of, better food through donations and partnerships with national and regional charities. We support organizations that help Canadians:

Food access through food banks and meal programs

Health management, prevention and research on food-related health issues

Food literacy through nutrition education and cooking skills training

To learn more about the Better Food Fund and our partners

Here are just some of the ways we’ve made a difference.

Helping the Hungry

We extend the passion for food you see in our stores to the surrounding communities. Every year, we help feed the hungry by raising millions of dollars and donating millions of pounds of food. Here are some highlights from 2015.


Sobeys and IGA stores in Western Canada collected more than $457,156 for local food banks through their Time for Sharing campaign.


Thanks to the generosity of our customers and the efforts of our employees, Safeway stores raised $545,452 through the sale of $5 and $10 hampers during the 2015 Holiday Hamper Food Drive in support of local food banks across Western Canada.


Thrifty Foods’ Help End Hunger coupons raised more than $60,000 for Our Place Society, an organization that serves 1,500-plus meals a day in the Greater Victoria region to people living in poverty. As a major partner, Thrifty Foods also provided a refrigerated truck to serve vulnerable populations in the Greater Victoria region through its food recovery program.


During the November 2015 Fill the Food Bank, Fuel the Community campaign, Sobeys, Foodland, FastFuel, Needs, Shell, and Participating Co-ops joined together to help local food banks across Atlantic Canada. Together with customers, employees and suppliers, the group raised more than $541,000 in food and cash donations. Since the campaign began six years ago, more than $4.1 million has been raised across Atlantic Canada.


FreshCo has partnered with the Ontario Student Nutrition Program agencies to make affordable meals possible for schoolchildren across the province. As a result, students have access to more nutritious meals. Shoppers in the program use special ID cards to receive a 5 percent reduction off FreshCo’s already low prices.


Sobeys stores in the Greater Toronto Area have donated over 200,000 pounds of food and critical support to help North York Harvest Food Bank respond to the daily demands of their clients. In addition to gathering food donations and financial support, employees from our Toronto office installed a new racking system in their warehouse that accommodates an additional 100 pallets so they can better manage donations during the busy seasons.

Spreading the Word on the Importance
of Nutrition Education

Learning how to cook is important, but understanding what we consume and the effects specific foods have on our minds and bodies is just as important. That’s why we invest in programs and initiatives that teach more of our neighbours about the importance of food knowledge.

Sobeys Québec and its merchants from the IGA, Les Marchés Tradition and Marché Bonichoix banners have created The Joy of Eating Better Foundation. Its mission is to help as many people as possible in Quebec and New Brunswick eat better in three ways: by promoting education on healthy eating, collecting food donations and distributing them to people in need, and encouraging people to cook more often.

Since 2008, in partnership with its customers and employees, Safeway has raised $7.8 million for Easter Seals Canada. In 2015, Safeway and local Easter Seals chapters teamed up to launch the Feeding Ability program, an initiative focused on educating children and families of all abilities in a fun and interactive way about nutrition, healthy food choices and cooking. Easter Seals campers received a copy of the Carabiner Cookbook, which contains important nutritional information and lots of delicious, healthy recipes to make at camp and at home.

Sobeys Inc. served as a corporate sponsor of the 2016 Night to Nurture Gala. The company sold tickets to the event and helped raise more $1.8 million for The Grocery Foundation in Ontario and Kids Help Phone.

The Sobeys Inc. Better Food Fund has partnered with Special Olympics Canada. Thousands of Canadians with intellectual disabilities—from two-year-olds to senior citizens—as well as their families, caregivers and coaches will now have access to nutrition guides, cooking classes and fresh, accessible food through the hundreds of local Special Olympics programs across the country.

The Island Food Skills Initiative is a program offered to young people between the ages of eight and 17 in Charlottetown. In partnership with the Healthy Eating Alliance, the program provides children with the tools and knowledge they need to be able to prepare and plan healthy, economical meals. In addition to offering financial support for the initiative, Sobeys conducts store tours led by one of the company’s knowledgeable dietitians and holds cooking classes in the store’s community room.
Encouraging All Canadians to Get Cooking

Sobeys is committed to inspiring more Canadians to cook—whether that means learning new skills, trying different recipes or gaining more understanding of how to prepare simple, affordable meals.

The Thrifty Foods Young Chef camps, which focus on cooking, nutrition and food safety, provided more than $60,000 in subsidies to 17 local recreation centres so kids aged nine to 12 could participate in the program. Since 2008, the camp has been dedicated to providing children with interactive sessions that educate them about food choices and experiences.

Free The Children and the Sobeys Inc. Better Food Fund have teamed up to create Home Cook Heroes, a package of lesson plans designed to empower thousands of students across Canada to make healthy choices, and gain essential food and cooking skills. Students learn about what they consume and the impact it has on their bodies, prepare and make meals through the development of cooking skills, and direct their new-found nutrition literacy toward creating positive local and global change.

Since 2011, Safeway has been the title sponsor of the Surrey British Columbia Fusion Festival Cooking Stage. During the two-day July event, Safeway and its employees welcome local professional and celebrity chefs to the stage, where they eagerly share their recipes and cooking skills with attendees.

Dartmouth North Community Food Centre is a project of the Dartmouth Family Centre, which has been serving the community for more than 20 years. This new facility opened in Nova Scotia in 2015 in partnership with Community Food Centres Canada to bring people together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food. Sobeys supported the development of the site by offering reduced rent for the space, architectural services, and tendering and project management of the construction. The centre offers a wide range of programs, including cooking workshops, meals, gardening education and peer support.
Responding to the Local Needs of the Communities We Serve

To “proudly serve our communities” is one of our core values. It represents our commitment to operating excellent stores that serve the needs of our customers, and reflects our culture of giving back to the neighbourhoods we operate in. Our ability to give back to the communities we serve is a direct result of our customers, who shop in our stores and look to us to satisfy their food needs.

Since 2011, Safeway stores and employees have supported CancerCare Manitoba’s Challenge for Life 20-kilometre walk, which raises funds and awareness for programs that provide critical support and primary care for people who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families. Employees assemble a team of volunteers to host breakfast, lunch and the first route check stop station. Safeway also donates fresh fruit and healthy snacks to fuel up the walkers. In five years, 363 employees have raised $368,000.

Thrifty Foods collected more than $38,000 for 12 local hospital foundations on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland through the Pumpkins for Patients fundraiser in 2015. Thrifty Foods donated $1 for every pumpkin, pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup sold in-store.

For 20 years, the Lawtons Drugs Pro-Am Golf Tournament has raised funds for local charities in Atlantic Canada. Since the beginning of the tournament, more than $1.7 million has been donated to organizations such as Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.

In 2015, Sobeys Atlantic partnered with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. As a regional sponsor, the company also held local fundraising campaigns and encouraged employees to participate. Last year alone, 339 employees participated in 11 events across Atlantic Canada, resulting in $80,589 raised for the fight against breast cancer.

Hear it directly from us

What Our People have to Say

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At Sobeys, we’ve elevated a trip to the grocery store to an enticing shopping experience. A proudly Canadian company with more than 100 years in the food business, we combine the helpful service and variety of delicious fresh and prepared foods you’d expect from a farmer’s market with all the conveniences of the modern one-stop grocery store. From skilled in-store bakers to knowledgeable fishmongers and butchers, Sobeys team members are dedicated to creating a friendly and appealing environment where the customer comes first and sustainability is at the heart of what we offer.
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Part of the Sobeys family from 2013, Safeway has been serving Canadian communities since 1929. Today there are Safeway stores from Vancouver to Thunder Bay, Ont. Our in-store bakers make artisan breads, pastries and cakes from scratch, and our deli offers hot and cold quick meal solutions, as well as freshly brewed Starbucks® and Tim Hortons® coffees. Our team is dedicated to selecting the highest quality products for our customers. Safeway florists create custom and ready-to-buy flower arrangements, and our butchers, fishmongers and grocers are always on hand to offer friendly in-store advice. We’re committed to community involvement, hunger prevention and environmental sustainability.
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Thrifty Foods grocery stores proudly serve communities across Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland British Columbia. As your greener grocer, we operate around the core values of corporate social responsibility, which include supporting B.C. farmers, protecting the oceans and partnering with vendors that use sustainable business practices. We offer hundreds of certified organic products and a range of Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance items. And in the spirit of offering you quality and convenience, groceries can be ordered online for home delivery. We at Thrifty Foods are committed to helping build the kind of world we’d like to live in—today, tomorrow and in the future
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Since 1957, IGA has been dedicated to providing communities with farm-fresh produce and products at affordable prices. In over 30 convenient locations across Western Canada, our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always available to provide customers with the highest level of service. We proudly serve the communities we work in and strive to support our local producers. At IGA, we are on a mission to help Canadians Eat Better, Feel Better and Do Better.
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Foodland stores provide a warm and friendly shopping experience in over 140 communities across Ontario. We offer customers a wide selection of fresh food, including local and internationally sourced produce, Butcher Cut meat, in-store bakery, deli, Food to Go and grocery products. We work hard to earn a special place in the hearts of our neighbours and customers. Our staff is friendly and informed, and we provide a clean and welcoming environment, making Foodland a trusted neighbourhood place to shop.
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Foodland and our family of select Co-op stores provide a clean and welcoming full-service shopping experience to customers in smaller communities in Atlantic Canada. We offer customers a wide selection of fresh produce, meats, deli meats and cheeses, and freshly baked breads and sweets. With our assortment of grocery products and frozen food, you’ll find everything on your grocery list. Locally owned and operated, we work hard to earn a special place in the hearts of our customers and neighbourhoods, too. We care about you and about making our community a better place for everyone. Our customer service is friendly, informed and eager to provide you with the best service in town, making Foodland a trusted neighbourhood place to shop.
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FreshCo offers shoppers in Ontario the quality and variety they look for in a discount grocery store—at great savings. Our grocery store is simple and inviting, with spacious aisles and an array of fresh, frozen, deli, bakery and grocery favourites, as well as international staples. We’re committed to supporting Ontario farmers and stocking local meats and seasonal produce whenever possible. The FreshCo banner lets customers stick to their budgets without having to compromise on choice or shopping experience. In fact, we offer price matching to ensure we’re guaranteed to have the lowest prices in your neighbourhood.
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Lawtons Drugs has been helping customers Look better, Feel better and Live better for more than 100 years. We are committed to the health and well-being of both our customers and our employees. We pride ourselves on having a positive and engaging environment that allows you to pursue your interests and grow with us. We have something for everyone who wants to build a successful career. With more than 79 retail locations across Atlantic Canada specializing in solutions to help our customers lead better lives, there are many opportunities for growth within the pharmacy, home health care, cosmetics, retail store, corporate office and wholesale areas. Wherever your interest lies, we all share a common goal with our parent company, Sobeys Inc., to help Canadians Eat Better, Feel Better and Do Better. Won’t you be part of our team?
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