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Loblaw offered $25 gift cards to right a price-fixing scam. A number of Winnipeggers are using this opportunity to give back to the community.

News broke in December 2017 that retailers across Canada were involved in price-fixing schemes when it came to bread and bakery items. Loblaw, owner of Real Canadian Superstore and Shoppers Drugmart, among others, blew the whistle on the scheme.

Since then, Loblaw has offered $25 gift cards to anyone who has purchased bread since the practice began 14 years ago. Many have taken the company up on the offer, but some are turning that gift card around and donating it to a local ministry.

"It seems like it's still ramping up," said Siloam Mission's Luke Thiessen, communications coordinator. "Just yesterday, we had between five and ten cards come in."

Thiessen says that 90% of Siloam's food is donated, but these cards will be used to help cover the remaining 10%, plus kitchen utensils, something people don't often think of.

Winnipeg Harvest, meanwhile, has received $800 worth of cards as of the last count. Harvest tweeted out that they will be using these donations to purchase baby formula.

"It's very expensive and it doesn't last very long on shelves," said Jason Dueck, communications and marketing associate with Harvest. "It is the only food item that we budget for in a given year."

Dueck and Thiessen were both blown away by the support of Winnipeggers. Thiessen said he was amazed that the first thing people thought of when they got free money was to give it away.

"It's so inspiring," Thiessen said. 

"Winnipeggers have shown their generosity towards this again," Dueck said. "We are the only major food bank in Canada that does not have to purchase food normally, so it really speaks to the generosity and the spirit of the people in Winnipeg that they support us entirely through donations of food and money and time."

Both Siloam and Harvest expect more cards to come in.

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