This year, Smoke’s Poutinerie Kingston is donating 1,500 pounds of potatoes to Partners in Mission Food Bank, a longstanding food bank in Kingston.
Smoke’s Poutinerie launched their annual Potatoes for the People program in 2016, with locations donating 50-pound sacks of potatoes to local food banks each holiday season. To date, Smoke’s Poutinerie has donated over 30,000 pounds of potatoes to food banks around Canada.
“In previous years we have partnered with Spearhead Brewery to help get [the potatoes] delivered,” Phillip Helpard, store manager of Smoke’s Poutinerie Kingston, wrote to YGK News. “They would bring a truck down and help us get all 30 50-pound bags down to the food bank. This year we’re having the food bank pick them up, simply to limit contact with as many people as possible.”
According to Helpard, all 1,500 pounds of potatoes donated to Partners in Mission Food Bank are then distributed directly to those in need.
“It’s an honor just to be in a position where we could help [Partners in Mission Food Bank] on their journey to helping those in need, right here in our town,” Helpard wrote. “As the store manager, it’s an absolute pleasure to run our Potatoes for the People program every year [ … ] it makes me very happy that the company I’ve worked so long for is willing to constantly do its best to give back the community.”
Helpard has been part of Smoke’s Poutinerie for nearly six years and highlights the “generosity and love for community [from] owners, other franchisees, and head office team” as “one of the many reasons” for his devotion to the brand.
“I think as Smoke’s continues its path towards global domination, it’s important to remember where we came from,” Helpard added. “[Growing] from one small store in Toronto to spanning the globe [ … ] was only possible because of the communities who supported us. It’s incredibly important to remember your roots [ … ] Giving back [through] Potatoes for the People is just one of the ways Smoke’s can show its gratitude.”