Vale presented a giant cheque for a huge sum of money Wednesday to the Sudbury Food Bank for its capital campaign.
Tito Martins, chief executive officer of Vale Canada Ltd., announced a donation of $500,000 to the food bank at its new warehouse headquarters on Webbwood Drive.
Martins followed in the footsteps of two former employees of Vale in supporting the organization. Murilo Ferreira, the former president and CEO of CVRD Inco, made a five-year commitment toward the food bank’s operating costs when the Brazil-based company first purchased Inco.
Longtime employee and United Steelworker member Edgar Burton, who died last year, started a food drive more than 22 years ago that became so successful that 80 tons of food was collected last Christmas in Burton’s honour.
The Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive has become the most successful campaign of its kind in Canada.
Martins told an audience of about 50 people, many representing organizations whose clients benefit from the Sudbury Food Bank, that “all of you know much better than me the importance of the food bank.”
When he came to Canada three and a half years ago, Martins said Ferreira told him about a “very, very interesting and very brave initiative” in Sudbury.
The Vale Canada CEO said the new donation celebrates “one further step” on a dream that started with Burton.
Martins and John Pollesel, Vale Canada’s chief operating officer, toured the warehouse with Sudbury Food Bank chair Geoffrey Lougheed before the cheque presentation.
Martins said he was surprised at the size of the warehouse. “It will be a big challenge to keep it full.”
Pollesel said Vale and the Sudbury Food Bank have a long association because of Burton, a former divisional shops employee.
“He really represented the best of our company,” said Pollesel, adding Burton dedicated his life to making a “positive difference at our company and within our community.”
Burton’s message was always the same in the more than two decades he the led food drive.
“Please help us collect one more can than last year.”
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