Letter: Shopping local with community card aids local community associations

Tuesday, July 2 2013

Dear Editor,

Recently the Village Food Market was honoured by PHC for all the support they have given to the food bank, both in food and money donated, helping to keep Gabriolans fed and healthy.

As most of us know, Village Foods contributes to the well-being of the community in lots of ways, but one of the ways seems less well known than it should be. When a friend watched me pay for my groceries with my Community Card a couple of weeks ago, he asked what it was. I was surprised to discover not everyone knew about it.

One of the projects the Village Market has developed is their Community Card. Three non-profits on the island, as well as their supporters, now benefit from this – PAC, the Commons and the Gabriola Health Care Foundation. Anyone can get a card, and support one of these non-profits, simply by paying $100 (or $200, $300 etc.) in cash, cheque or debit (not a credit card) and naming the organization they want to benefit. Five dollars from each $100 spent on the card goes to a specific project the group wants to develop. Since my current personal passion is the Commons, our money spent on food sends $5 to the Commons for the building of the new community kitchen, the project designated by the Commons to receive this money. With company arriving more frequently these days, I am sending $10 a week to the building of the Commons kitchen just by food shopping. It costs nothing except what the groceries would cost anyway, and a valuable project gets thousands of dollars.

And if you lose or misplace your card, when you report it to the market it takes just two or three minutes to have the card cancelled, a new one started with the amount you had on it put onto the new card, no complicated process or humiliation involved. Try it everyone – you might love the idea as much as I do.

~ Kit Szanto