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From competition to collaboration: Fredericton stores come together for Turkey Drive


Competition has turned into collaboration at Fredericton's local community grocery stores.

The goal this year is to work together to fill up the local food bank's fridge with turkeys.

"We thought given the extreme challenges people are facing this year, having a competition might not be the best way to face this approach,” said Alex Scholten, owner of Victory Meat Market. “Looking at having everyone contribute as best they can.”

In past years, the city's north side took on the south side in a friendly feud to collect turkeys for those in need at Christmas time. This year there’s a twist.

"I think it's a good thing, I'm very happy,” said Michel Bourgoin, owner of Peter's Meat Market. “It puts a lot less strain on Victory and Peter's Meat Market that's for sure and it's nice to have the community that comes together.”

This year they're bringing in two more local independent businesses to help carry the weight to feed those in need in the city.

"It's fantastic to come together as a group of people to help the community,” said Tina Mitchell with Fredericton Co-op. “We’re all community minded stores so it's great that we can work together.”

"We're just happy to be invited and we're hoping to raise a lot of money to feed a lot of families,” said Justin Paul with St Mary's Supermarket.

And the need is far greater this year with a 36 per cent rise in families accessing the foodbank compared to this time last year.

"More people are in need of extra help,” said Alex Boyd, CEO of Greener Village Food Bank.

Greener Village is getting close to 2,000 people coming to them for help per month.

“So it is concerning but it's also uplifting because we have a community of support here at Greener Village that's helping us to meet that need,” Boyd said.

They're hoping to collect cash to buy 2,000 turkeys at an estimated $35 a turkey.

That's a goal of $70,000.

Alex Scholten, owner of Victory Meat Market in Fredericton, is pictured. (Alyson Samson/CTV Atlantic)

"We hear a lot about the impact of inflation, especially food inflation,” Scholten said. “It really troubles us as a retailer in that area, the troubles our customers are facing, so we had great fear it would impact how effective the campaign could be this year, too.”

The community grocer Turkey Drive goes until Dec. 4.

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