Save-On-Foods manager Derik Sheers, store staff and volunteers had their hands full unloading 64 pallets of food. (submitted)

Business notes: Cowichan businesses step up for charities

One such business is Parhar Group, owned by Balbir Parhar and his family.

It’s gratifying to see so many Cowichan Valley businesses step up to the plate at this time of the year to help the less fortunate members of our community.

Many of these same businesses have a habit of giving back throughout the year. They know how important it is to support local charities and they see it as a responsibility they take seriously.

One such business is Parhar Group, owned by Balbir Parhar and his family.

A local developer with extensive business interests in various areas, Parhar grew up in the Cowichan Valley and has seen how donations benefit local folks who are in need.

Recently, Parhar and his daughter, Robin, presented a cheque for $2,000 to the Stuff the Truck fundraiser that was organized by Save-On-Foods.

Paldi Sikh temple, Duncan Sikh temple, Cowichan Hospital, BC Centre For Ability, BC Children’s Hospital and Juvenile BC Diabetes Foundation are among the organizations that the Parhar Group supports throughout the year.

Speaking of the Stuff the Truck fundraiser, it was a huge success.

Save-On-Foods store manager Derik Sheers says the effort produced 128 pallets of food at a value of $500 ($64,000 worth!) plus $7,100 worth of $5 and $10 hampers.

“With many hands and trucks we unloaded the Stuff the Truck in about one and a half hours,” Sheers said. “Our containers are overflowing!”

The four local food banks in Lake Cowichan, Chemainus/Crofton, Ladysmith and the Cowichan Valley Basket Society were well represented and will now be in a better position to help the people whose needs are so great at this time of the year.

It was a great effort by the entire crew of Save-On-Foods and everyone who donated.

• • •

Reach for B.C. when planning holiday baking this season.

Whether starting from scratch with holiday baking, or planning to pick up baked goods from a local store, British Columbians can choose to Buy BC this season and enjoy the bounty of the province’s agriculture sector.

“Baking and holiday goodies from local B.C. producers bring a special touch of home when celebrating this season,” said Lana Popham, minister of Agriculture. “This year, reach for B.C. ingredients for all your baking needs.”

True Grain Bread, with bakery locations in Cowichan Bay, Courtenay and Summerland, is producing baked goods from locally sourced and milled B.C. grain flour. They work exclusively with certified organic B.C. grown grain, with a focus on ancient and heritage grains like Emmer, Khorasan, rye and red fife, and continuing in the tradition of old-world style baking.

“Once we realized the single biggest source of our greenhouse gas emissions was freight of grain, we got serious about finding neighbours to grow organic grain for us,” explains Bruce Stewart, president of True Grain Bread.

“We are trying to educate people about food miles and the difference we are making, and the Buy BC program is really helping us to get the word out.”

The Buy BC Partnership program is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.

True Grain Bread will receive up to $45,000 in funding to help with their marketing efforts, including using the Buy BC logo on their products or promotional materials.

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