VALE NEWS RELEASE: 25th Anniversary of the Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive Collects 100 tons of Food

(L to R): Announcing 100 tons of food collected at the 25th anniversary of the Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive wrap-up are: Kayla Richardson, Student, Marymount Academy; Lise Callahan, Teacher, Marymount Academy; Claude Gravelle, MP, Nickel Belt; France Gelinas, MPP, Nickel Belt; Sharon Burton, Jennifer Burton, Noah Burton; Glenn Thibeault, MP, Sudbury; Rick Bartolucci, MPP, Sudbury and Minister of Northern Development & Mines; Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk; Mellaney Dahl, Honorary Chair, Sudbury Food Bank; Rick Bertrand, President, United Steelworkers, Local 6500; and Bruce Bichel, General Manager, Smelting & Refining, Vale.

SUDBURY, December 20, 2012 – The 25th anniversary of the Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive was the most successful food drive ever in Sudbury, and one of the largest Christmas food drives in all of Canada, with approximately 100 tons of food collected by Vale, the United Steelworkers, schools and local businesses in Greater Sudbury.

“The spirit of Edgar Burton continues to guide the success of this campaign,” said Geoffrey Lougheed, Chair of the Sudbury Food Bank. “We achieved his goal of ‘one more can’ because of the generosity and care of our community. Thank you to everyone who has donated and continues Edgar’s legacy of sharing.”

Edgar Burton, a Vale Divisional Shops employee for 36 years, started the annual food drive 25 years ago when Edgar’s daughters asked him if they could start collecting food for the less fortunate. Since then, the campaign has grown to include hundreds of businesses and schools in Greater Sudbury. It is the largest food drive per capita in Ontario and one of the largest in all of Canada.

“Edgar Burton was a kind and generous individual that represents the very best qualities in our employees and our community,” said Kelly Strong, Vice-President, Canada and UK Operations, Vale. “Vale is proud to continue the legacy of the food drive he began at Divisional Shops 25 years ago.”

The Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive has collected more than 752 tons in the last 25 years. The food drive’s goal this year, as it always was for Edgar, was to collect ‘one more can’ than last year.

“For 25 years, Edgar and his family started a legacy that touched the lives of many Sudburians,” said Rick Bertrand, President, United Steelworkers, Local 6500. “His generosity and compassion to feed our less fortunate is an inspiration to everyone in our community.”

The Sudbury Food Bank provides food to approximately 15,000 people every month through 45 member agencies. Of those individuals, approximately 40% are children.

”Just like Edgar Burton himself, the annual food drive he started is a shining example of the spirit and generosity of our community,” said Mayor Marianne Matichuk. “I thank all Greater Sudburians who gave to this valuable cause. Together, we are caring and making our community stronger.”

For more information, please contact:
Angie Robson
Manager, Corporate Affairs
Vale (Ontario Operations)
(705) 682-5202


The donor: Vale Canada, the United Steelworkers and the entire Greater Sudbury Community – 500 businesses, organizations and schools

The cause: 25th Annual Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive (The Sudbury Food Bank) – The Sudbury Food Bank provides food to those less fortunate in the Greater Sudbury community through a number of agencies and outreach groups. Every single month, the Food Bank helps more than 14,000 people. Of those, approximately 40% are children.

The reason: 25 years ago, Edgar Burton, then-Inco Divisional Shops Worker in Sudbury, was asked by his daughter why there were people hungry in the community. This man known for his heart of gold, started the company’s first ever employee drive in Sudbury. What began as a solely joint Vale (Inco)/USW campaign has grown into the largest community food drive in Ontario and one of the largest in Canada (per capita). Vale and the USW are very proud of what they have achieved together for the community by honouring Edgar Burton’s good work.

The numbers: More than 752 tonnes of food have been collected in Sudbury through this Food Drive over the years. In 2011 alone, 88 tonnes of food were collected, which was by far the most successful effort. The bar was certainly raised very high, and was exceeded with 100 tonnes raised this year.

To put the size of this food drive in perspective, Sudbury raised 88 tonnes on a population of 166,000. Mississauga raised 99 tonnes on a population of 713,000. Sudbury raised nearly 8 times on a per capita basis! This is something for the community to be proud of. More importantly, the community, led by the partnership of Vale and the USW, together has made such an impactful difference.