Tim Hortons cookie campaign provides link to keeping Burlington families fed


Published April 26, 2024 at 4:47 pm

Hortons smile cookie Burlington food bank

For such a simple promotion the Tim Hortons smile cookie campaign has a significant impact on the well-being of many Burlington residents.

The campaign, which begins on Monday (April 29) and lasts just one week, is the major fundraising vehicle for the Burlington Food Bank and as such helps fill the shelves with food that people rely on.

Last year the campaign earned $145,000, a number that hopes to be topped this year because the need to support those who are hungry is growing.

“This is it, the cookie campaign is huge for us,” explains Robin Bailey, executive director of the Burlington Food Bank. “Burlington has been really supportive of us in the past — last year we sold 100,000 cookies across the city — so we appreciate what everyone does to make this happen.”

All proceeds from the sale of a smile cookie sold at every Burlington location are turned over to the food bank (all except those sold at the Joseph Brant Hospital location which go to support hospital needs) which in turn go directly into services for clients.

Bailey said there has been a noted increase in the use of the food bank in the days since the pandemic. He said the 1254 Plains Road East location serves about 1,000 families a month which amounts to 3,000 people, many of whom are children. The increase in food demand has jumped 40 per cent from last year.

“When I first started seven years ago we served 250 families a month,” Bailey continued. “The numbers will never go down they keep increasing as stresses on families and individuals grow…people are struggling and they are reaching out for help.”

For example, Bailey said there is no stereotypical food bank user. Rising costs and interest rates have made people turn to the food bank for help, even those you wouldn’t expect.

“It could be anyone,” he said. “Take a look around you and the people you see could be a food bank user. Even if you live in an affluent community chances are one of your neighbours is a food bank user. People who have full-time jobs come in because they are stretched financially. Mortgage payments are higher. Groceries cost more. It doesn’t matter who you are you can be affected.”

As for the smile cookies, Bailey said the operators and staff at Tim Hortons go a long way in making the campaign work. He said as well as selling the cookies and promoting the cause with customers, store staff often spend extra time decorating the cookies to give them their happy appearance.

“They do such as great job at their own expense,” he said. “Sometimes volunteers go in and help with the decorating but Tim Hortons makes this work for us. They make the cookies and they sell them and the funds we receive are significant.”

The smile cookie campaign continues through May 5.

More information about the food bank, including how you can assist or if you need any of the services, can be found here.



insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising