Have your organic food, and give to charity too

Sandra discovers a new online grocery service with a refreshingly philanthropic bent.

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DonateNaturally.com

When I was on mat leave with Bronwyn, I liked our daily stroller walks to have a productive aspect. Sure, a walk with the sole purpose of helping my baby daughter fall asleep is productive in itself, but I needed something for me, too. Some days, we’d walk to the Montreal bagel place and I’d jiggle the stroller while ordering two whole wheat bagels to go. And if I was feeling braver, I’d go the extra few blocks to the organic supermarket and pick up a few things for dinner, or those cheesy duck crackers made with no preservatives. But I could never carry very much, and in the height of summer I worried about yogurt or meats getting spoiled, so perishable foods were off the list.

So it would have been nice to augment those stroller-shopping trips with more substantial offerings. Bronwyn hated car rides, and I hated listening to her cry, buckled up in her car seat, so we waited until Daddy was around to go grocery shopping. But Daddy’s old job involved a lot of travel, often for a week at a time; online supermarkets were an option, but I was too frugal to dish out the delivery charge.

Now a company called DonateNaturally.com can do all of that. Founded by Jasmin and Matthew von Teichman, DonateNaturally.com is an online supermarket that stocks more than 1,300 natural and organic food and personal care products, including their own Life Choices brand of organic packaged foods (founded when Jasmin was pregnant the first time, and couldn’t find organic products that tasted great), Grandview Farms frozen meats (the animals are raised naturally on Matthew’s family farm near Collingwood, Ont.), and Neal Brothers snacks.

Scanning the site, it looks to me as though their prices are right on par with my big supermarket’s natural foods section. However, DonateNaturally.com offers better value through its free delivery service — by truck in the Greater Toronto Area, and via Canada Post in the rest of the country.

Wait, there’s more. Fifteen percent of the cost of every item you buy is donated to your choice of charities registered on the site. My kids’ school is registered — and supporting it through my grocery purchases seems way more appealing than dropping $60 on junk food and bouncy castle tickets at the Fun Fair. Many other public schools are registered, too. So is Because I Am a Girl, a campaign we already support as a family. As the company’s literature points out, “If 100 families spend $100 weekly, that would add up to $18,000 donated to charity within a year.”

Of course, you’re wondering how they can afford to give 15% of their gross receipts to charity. (I wondered, too!) Matthew explained it this way: Because the company is a virtual grocery store, with no bricks-and-mortar stores, “We don’t have a very high rent footprint. We’re able to reappoint that money as charitable donations.”

When I told our Pregnant Pause blogger, Karen Robock, about the service, she immediately thought ahead to her upcoming early days with a new baby; how great would free grocery delivery be? Plus, she noted, “They have a lot of the brands that I like.” And she appreciated the fact that a charity benefits every time someone shops.

Do you shop for organic food and other products, or do you prefer to use mainstream brands? Share your thoughts here.

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