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Northern Factory Work Wear dishes out community support to local food banks

Two Lloydminster non-profits will be getting a helping hand from Northern Factory Workwear this year.

The workwear store has been raising money all year through their I Love Canadian Oil clothing program. The store makes hats, decals and shirts with the slogan on it, and 25 per cent of the proceeds get donated to local initiatives. This year, the money went towards the Olive Tree and Salvation Army Food Banks.

Owners Neal & Pam Beznoska presented the cheques Tuesday afternoon, with both organisations getting 1,849.78 each. Neal explains that even in a year that has seen their business impacted by COVID-19, they were happy to still give back to the community.

“I think it’s pretty great that we belong to a really good community, here in Lloydminster and the surrounding area. We’ve been having really good community support, people shopping local, and all that stuff, supporting us, so we thought we’d love to support the community back.”

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From here, the Olive Tree will use the funding to support their community meal program. This means buying food provisions for their kitchen, including ordering food in due to the COVID-19 pandemic making food shopping difficult for their organization. They also have seeing increases in hamper demand and have been continuing delivering meals to people who are immunocompromised or can’t go out due to COVID-19.

Olive Tree assistant Executive Director  Jana Thompson says this funding will go a long way for them, and they are blessed by the community support.

“I think every year, let alone at Christmas time, we’re blown away at just the generosity of businesses, and residents here in Lloydminster and how they give from their heart, and we’re so grateful for the opportunity to serve in Lloydminster.”

Northern Factory Workwear staff present a cheque to Major Bond Jennings with the Salvation Army. [Dan Soul/106.1 The Goat.]
The Salvation Army has also seen an increase in demand this year, says Major Bond Jennings. They estimate they’re giving out forty to fifty hampers per week, or around 15,000 pounds of food per month to people and families. They’ve also been supporting places like the City’s Drop-In Centre with extra food if they have it.

Jennings explains that with usual fundraisers like the Kettle Campaign expected to take a hit due to COVID-19, fundraisers like this can help tremendously.

“We’re seeing roughly five to ten new individuals and families per week coming to us for assistance. With the new criteria and guidelines for COVID that have come down in Saskatchewan and possibly in Alberta, the demand for our services may increase this Christmas, and into the future.”

Northern Factory Workwear started the I Love Canadian Oil clothing line five years ago as a way to show support to oil and gas workers impacted by the economic downturn. Since then, it has also worked to give back to Lloydminster charities as well.

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