A Sun Life advisor’s perspective as company holds inaugural food drive

Across PEI, food drives have become a common way to fill food bank shelves and provide needed staples. The traditional holiday season rush to fill Christmas hampers has needed to evolve into a year-round cycle.

May was a busy month for food drives, with a local group, Gifts from the Heart Inc. partnering with Atlantic Superstore to gather food for their 3rd annual Care Fair. The Care Fair provides free food and other items such as clothing for families in PEI. As well, in late May life was brighter (and windier, and colder) under the sun, as the PEI Sun Life Financial team held its inaugural Feed the Island Food Drive in support of food banks across the Island. Sun Life partnered with Sobeys, hosting free barbeques at four Sobeys locations for those who donated to the PEI’s various food banks. Sun Life’s entire PEI team of 22 advisors, five managers, ten staff, and many family members were stationed at each of their community’s nearest Sobeys stores taking part in what turned out to be a great success for the food banks on PEI.

“Sun Life Financial has always had the mandate of helping families in the communities we serve; it is what we do for a living. So this partnership with the local food banks was a natural fit. Our PEI office is represented by proud Islanders and fantastic people, and we loved the opportunity to give back,” Greg Fox, Financial Centre Manager on PEI, said. “The generosity of the Island was amazing to witness. There were shoppers running into the West Royalty store for one item, and coming out with multiple bags of food donations.” Donations went to the Salvation Army and the Upper Room in Charlottetown, the Montague Food Bank, and the Summerside Salvation Army.

As an advisor in Charlottetown, I participated in the food drive. I watched as one elderly lady entered the Sobeys on Allen Street in Charlottetown around 1:00. She came out of the store an hour later with a full shopping cart of food. I was astounded as she took out one small grocery bag, and left the entire shopping cart with our pile of donations.
Within two and a half hours, shoppers at the Allen Street Sobeys had filled seven shopping carts with donations for the Upper Room in Charlottetown.

Reflecting on the day, it was a moving experience. I couldn’t help but think of how enjoyable and rewarding it was for our team to deliver an event like this with the help of Sobeys and the food banks, and how willing Islanders were to make donations on their way out of the store. Community spirit like that makes me feel like no one should ever have to go to bed hungry on PEI.

About Kyle Gillis

Kyle is an advisor with Sun Life Financial in Charlottetown. He is a self-proclaimed poutine connoisseur with a strongly supported argument for pairing Pepsi with most meals. When he is not dishing up advice on retirement planning and income protection, he can more than likely be found on the nearest patio with a Radler and friends.

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