Saskatoon's City Perks Coffeehouse supports local food bank with unused space

How empty tables and chairs can turn into a community endeavour

With heavy restrictions in place for most Canadian restaurants, cafes and bars, the sight of unused tables, chairs and other areas typically used for standing room has become all too common. As tough as it is for businesses to succeed with compromised dining rooms right now, there is always room to get creative.

In the spirit of giving back over the holiday season, iconic Saskatoon cafe and bakery, City Perks has just launched a unique campaign to support the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre. Dreamt up by owner Coralee Abbott and general manager Tania Friesen, Pack The Cafe aims to see all unused areas of the cafe filled with non-perishable food donations for the food bank.

"We were talking about ways to create love within our cafe without guests [sitting down like usual] and help our community–her idea just grew from there," says Abbott. "We thrive on guests' energy within our cafe, as do any of us in the industry, and this is one way to still be able to capture that."

Inspired by pack-the-bus-style food donation initiatives, City Perks is encouraging regular customers–and new alike–to pop in anytime between now and December 22 (Mondays to Saturdays between the hours of 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.) with donations to add to the space. The two say they will stack to the ceiling if they can, all in name of a great local cause.

"[Food is a necessity]. We have the space to do something positive like this, to have fun with it and support the community that supports us," says Friesen.