The JAK’s Give Back campaign last weekend helped raise $25,000 for food banks around B.C., including Friends in Need Food Bank in Maple Ridge. (JAK’s/Special to The News)

Booze buyers help JAK’s feed the hungry

Money raised last Saturday at the liquor store in Maple Ridge will go to Friends In Need Food Bank

Several food banks across B.C. received a small infusion of cash thanks to beer and wine lovers last weekend.

JAK’s Beer Wine & Spirits held its second annual food bank fundraiser, and between the 13 liquor stores (including one in Maple Ridge) managed to raise $25,137 for the cause, explained chief operations officer Tim Dumas.

Last weekend, JAK’s customers stocked up on their favourite beverages and made a difference doing it with 10 per cent of sales being donated to designated food banks.

The money was raised to help keep shelves stocked through challenging times, and money raised at the store in Westgate Shopping Centre has been earmarked to help clients at the Friends in Need Food Bank.

RELATED: Maple Ridge liquor store donates portion of sales to food bank

“Our communities rallied behind JAK’s Gives Back this year like never before by stocking up, making personal donations at the cashier, and through purchasing our Gratitude wine,” Dumas said.

“We bumped this campaign up by a month because we saw our communities needed our support now, and we beat last year’s $20,000 donation thanks to our customers, who showed up to make a difference even on a rainy and stormy Saturday.”

In addition to Friends in Need Food Bank in Maple Ridge, money will be shared with Richmond Food Bank, SHARE Food Bank in Coquitlam, Campbell River Food Bank, Williams Lake Salvation Army Food Bank, Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank is expecting an unprecedented level of need to emerge in the next three to six months, said GVFB’s chief operating officer Cynthia Boulter.

She said thanks to JAK’s and others who are helping out, they will be prepared.

“We are already seeing an increase in the number of brand new clients to the food bank, as well as people coming back who have not had to use the food bank for years. We are here to help all of them, with healthy food and a welcoming tea,” Boulter said.

“We’re so grateful to have community partners like JAK’s, who not only raise funds through their proceeds, but who also help to spread awareness about food insecurity, and the need that exists right in our own backyard.”

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