Co-op contributes $200,000 to the wildfire relief efforts in Saskatchewan and volunteers to help at evacuee centres

Co-op is stepping up its contributions to the wildfire relief efforts in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan, CANADA, 2015-7-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Adding to the $200,000 it has already committed this year to the Canadian Red Cross to provide training and purchase supplies to prepare for emergencies, and the efforts by individual local co-op associations, Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) is volunteering employees to help at evacuee centres in Saskatoon.

“It’s in times like this where we see the spirit of community, people coming together to protect and preserve their livelihoods,” said FCL CEO Scott Banda. “Co-op is part of these communities. We’re doing what we can – whether providing supplies or volunteers – to help our neighbours who are waiting to return home.”

FCL employees are going to help Red Cross with a variety of tasks at the Henk Ruys Soccer Centre and SaskTel Soccer Centre. These volunteers will work in four-hour shifts to stock supplies, hand out personal services items, help with recreational activities, load and unload trucks and perform general clean-up.

FCL, on behalf of the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS), made a five-year, $1 million commitment to the Canadian Red Cross in 2013. The donation enhances community-based emergency responses throughout Western Canada.

Local Co-ops making local contributions to relief efforts

On a practical level, local Co-ops close to the wildfires are contributing heavily to relief efforts. Prince Albert Co-op has donated bottled water, diapers and other supplies for the Red Cross to provide to displaced residents at its Prince Albert centre. Dean McKim, Prince Albert Co-op’s general manager, has pitched in by personally delivering water and other supplies to the local evacuee centre. Meanwhile, the Co-op Food Store in La Ronge continues to assist military and firefighting crews with fuel and supplies, with the store’s manager Margaret Floch camping in the store parking lot to serve these crews.

Saskatoon Co-op has supplied thousands in gift cards to evacuees and continues to provide supplies to Red Cross centres in that city, while Sherwood Co-op in Regina will be donating $7,500 to the Red Cross to assist in preparing for future emergencies. This is matched by FCL as part of its five-year commitment.

Co-op’s relief efforts have been used during flooding in eastern Saskatchewan and western Manitoba last year, as well as flooding in southern Alberta in 2013.