Dave Alexander (Sidney), George Clarke (University Heights), Jeff MacLeod (Westside Village), flank the left side, while Paul Anacelto (Langford), Roger Junker (Saanich), Ross Prendergast (Tillicum), and Lionel Gjerde (Fort and Foul Bay) flank the right side of the items their respective stores donated to the kitchen of Jeneece Place earlier this month. (Wolf Depner/News staff)

Save-On-Foods fills up the pantry of Jeneece Place

Retailer stocks up kitchen of local facility for the fourth straight year

Greater Victoria Save-On-Foods grocery stores stocked the pantry at Jeneece Place for the fourth straight year.

Located on the grounds of the Victoria General Hospital, the Children’s Health Foundation owns and operates the facility, where children and their families can stay while receiving medical care in Victoria. The facility has served as a temporary home for almost 2,000 families since it first opened in 2012.

Along with a mountain of food (mostly non-perishables) and other household items, the stores, represented by their general managers, also donated $500 in gift cards.

“We have great support from large organizations every year who bring in-kind donations to Jeneece Place,” said Coralie McLean, communications manager, with the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. “We are so grateful and see first hand how this helps Island families,” she said.

“Tradition-wise we are so grateful that Save-On managers have chosen us to be the recipients of their wonderful generosity for four years now,” she added. “And we do hope this tradition continues.”

While Save-On-Foods has given thousands of dollars in donated food and gift cards, it is hard to put a dollar figure on the value of the contribution.

“The impact this has had on the families has been invaluable,” said McLean. “[Families] often come into Jeneece Place during one of the most stressful times of their lives, and when they learn that they have food that’s been generously provided to them, it takes so much pressure off.”

RELATED: Jeneece Edroff honoured with renaming of Hospital Way

The facility bears the name of Jeneece Edroff, who, at three years old was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1, a life-threatening genetic disease. Following two surgeries, and against all odds, Edroff survived doctors’ prognoses and became a champion of health for sick kids.

In 2010, Edroff became the youngest recipient of the province’s highest honour, the Order of British Columbia, for helping to create the facility, after raising 95 per cent of a $5.5 million goal in less than 14 months.

RELATED: Vancouver Island’s ‘Penny Girl’ comes out as transgender, hopes to inspire others


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wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

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