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West Coast Seeds raises thousands for food banks through sales of 'Dr. Bonnie Henry pollinator packets'

The BC seed company raised $23,000 for Food Banks Canada in just two days
Naomi Botkin, store manager at West Coast Seeds retail store and Aaron Saks, West Coast Seeds’ director of finance show off some samples of the Dr. Bonnie Henry Pollinator Blend. PHOTO BY CAMERON THOMSON

A Delta seed company has raised tens of thousands of dollars in donations for Canadian food banks in the name of B.C.’s chief medical health officer Dr Bonnie Henry.

On Nov. 16, West Coast Seeds announced that the company will be honouring Henry with the Dr. Bonnie Henry Pollinator Blend. The company also announced that 100 per cent of proceeds from the seed packet’s sales will be donated to Food Banks Canada. Two days later the packets raised $23,000.

“For us that's an unprecedented donation, it's something that we never thought we could ever do,” said Aaron Saks, West Coast Seeds’ director of finance. Saks added the 5,000 packets are nearly sold out already, prompting the company to order 10,000 more packets.

Saks also said he believes the company’s donation could grow to up to $150,000 by the end of the planting season in May-June.

The reason for the packet’s specific designation as a pollinator blend is a nod to Henry’s bee pendant. The seed packets’ design also plays off the same theme with the words 'Bee kind, bee calm and bee safe' printed around a honeycomb which frames a photo of Henry.

Saks proposed the idea of the seed packets to Henry’s office in July which is when the idea of donations going towards the Canada Food Bank.

“During this time of crisis, many families face significant challenges and more than ever have had to rely on our food banks. Supporting the food bank is one important way for us to support families during this time of need,” said Henry in a release from West Coast Seeds.

Aaron Saks hopes people will use gardening as a way to pass the time while staying at home.

“Planting seeds and watching them grow is a joy for gardeners,” said Saks. “Many people look forward to spring gardening to relax and promote positive personal well-being in these stressful times.”

Saks said he hopes to produce another seed packet thanking Henry for her leadership in 2021.

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