Dev Aggarwal, owner at Westpark IDA Drugs, with business partner Francis Miguel (right). Aggarwal is urging pharmacists to help out the Red Deer Food Bank in these difficult times. Contributed photo

Red Deerian asking Alberta pharmacists to unite and give back

Money raised will go to Red Deer Food Bank

A Red Deer phamacy owner says it’s time pharmacists open their wallets around the province.

Dev Aggarwal, Westpark IDA Drugs owner in Red Deer, said about a week ago, he was thinking he was lucky to still have a job, because so many in the province don’t amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s when it dawned on him it’s time to give back – to spread kindness and generosity in the community.

Premier Jason Kenney announced Tuesday thhe province is headed towards a 25 per cent unemployment rate – one of the highest numbers in modern history.

Aggarwal said unemployment rate in Alberta means many Alberta families might go hungry, and that’s why supporting the Red Deer Food Bank at this time is imperative.

“The Red Deer Food Bank has always been close to my heart, I’ve made donations to them in the past,” he explained.

Aggarwal got on GoFundMe recently asking phamarcists in Alberta to donate $100 each and each pharmacy owner to donate $500 each as a way to give back.

As of Wednesday at noon, $2,950 has been raised of its $100,000 goal.

Aggarwal has sent the fundraising request to phamacists across the province through a Facebook group that unite most of them in Alberta.

There are about 1,400 pharmacies and about 4,500 pharmacists in the province, he said.

“So if everyone donated say even a $100, we will have a significant amount,” he said.

The Red Deer resident, who also owns Sylvan Lake Pharmacy, said at this time customers are taking advantage of the free delivery program at his two pharmacies.

The program has always been there, but the need has been heightened since the ongoing pandemic. That is a good thing, the pharmacist said.

As a pharmacy owner, he ensures there is continues sanitization to protect both staff and customers and to limit the spread in the community.

He also encourages pharmacists across the province to continue doing the important work in their communities.

“We all need to pat ourselves for being at the front lines of the pandemic.”

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