Quality Foods Harewood store manager Dan Brown shows off one of the Coins for Kids collection jars the store keeps at every checkout line. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Customers at new Quality Foods finding spare change for Coins for Kids

Charity getting a boost from new bigger, busier Harewood location

Quality Foods customers are displaying their generous side at the grocery chain’s new Harewood store.

The company has been a longtime supporter of the News Bulletin’s Coins for Kids campaign, which raises donations for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island and the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive.

Supporting companies and organizations collect coins year round. This is the first year Quality Foods is collecting donations at its new store on Bruce Avenue and, as in previous years, there’s a Coins for Kids collection jar at every checkout till.

Dan Brown, store manager, said he has noticed the coin collection jars in the bigger, busy location seem to fill faster than they did at the old University Village Mall location.

“Oh, yeah, it’s been a lot more,” Brown said. “The guy that collects the coins says we’re one of the best stores for collections.”

Brown, who has been a Quality Foods store manager in Harewood for two years, said he couldn’t recall how far back the company’s relationship with the donation drive goes, but said “it’s going back quite a few years now.”

Ian Thorpe, who has volunteered with Pete MacDonald to pick up and deliver the coin donations for several years, said the latest tally indicates this year’s collections will meet or exceed last year’s $5,000 total.

“I have only sort of a rough guess,” Thorpe said. “I got together with Pete MacDonald … and he thought that we were on track. The last couple of years the total raised has been just over $5,000 each year and he did mention to me that that new Quality Foods has really been excellent.”

Coins for Kids evolved from the Pennies for Presents campaign, after the penny was taken out of circulation in 2013 and in all, more than $170,000 has been raised since the fundraiser began in 1996.


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