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UPDATE: Where to get free grocery-store gift cards for those who lost food during the ice storm

Groceries. You never notice them until they're gone. (Image: Danielle Scott)

Groceries. You never notice them until they’re gone. (Image: Danielle Scott)

Here’s some news you can use if you were without power for several days and the inside of your fridge looks like an abandoned petri dish. The Ontario government has managed to amass more than $100,000 worth of gift cards from Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Metro, Sobeys and Louie Coppa Family (operators of Highland Farms), plus $100,000 more in matching donations directly from Queen’s Park. From today until Friday, the gift cards will be distributed to people in need who lost food during last week’s storm-related power failures. Individuals will receive $50 each, and families will get $100. (UPDATE: The vouchers are already in very short supply. See below.)

Everyone who wants a card should bring proof of address to one of these 15 Ontario Works offices:

Golden Mile
Employment & Social Services
1880 Eglinton Ave. E.

Lawrence Square
Employment & Social Services
700 Lawrence Ave. W.
East Tower, 3rd Floor, Suite 330

Consilium Place
Employment & Social Services
100 Consilium Pl., 10th Floor

Attwell Employment & Social Services
220 Atwell Dr., Suite 4

North York East
Employment & Social Services
20 Lesmill Rd.

Scarborough West
Employment & Social Services
1225 Kennedy Rd., Unit 1

Employment & Social Services
605 Rogers Rd.

Scarborough North
Employment & Social Services
325 Milner Ave., 9th floor

Employment & Social Services
1631 Queen St. E.

Wellesley Place
Employment & Social Services
111 Wellesley St. E.

Etobicoke South
Employment & Social Services
779 The Queensway

High Park Parkdale
Employment & Social Services
1900 Dundas St. W.

North York Central
Employment & Social Services
1117 Finch Ave. W.

Metro Hall
Employment & Social Services
214 Wellington St. W.

Yonge Eglinton
Employment & Social Services
150 Eglinton Ave. E., Suite 900


UPDATE: Looks like the gift card program has hit a pretty major snag. The first-come-first-serve system of distribution means that many of the above-listed centres ran out of cards before noon today—the first day of the program. Deputy mayor Norm Kelly is asking people to be patient, and saying that more cards will arrive at the centres as the week goes on. 65,000 vouchers were on-hand this morning.