The Vale / USW Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive Wraps Up Another Successful Year

SUDBURY, December 18, 2020 – The 2020 Vale / USW Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive wrapped up another successful year thanks to the generous support of the Sudbury community. The beloved holiday giving campaign is expected to collect more than 112 tons of food and a groundbreaking $233,000 in financial contributions. Those donations couldn’t come at a more opportune time, with the additional pressures placed upon the Sudbury Food Bank as a result of COVID-19. The annual campaign has collected more than 1500 tons of food since it began.

Edgar Burton, a Vale Divisional Shops employee for 36 years, started the annual food drive 33 years ago in his workplace when his daughters asked him if they could start collecting food for the less fortunate. Today, Vale donates the time of one full-time and one part-time United Steel Worker (USW) Local 6500 employee as well as the time and support of a staff member for approximately two months to organize the drive. Vale’s Sudbury operations also support the drive annually through a food and monetary donation collection.

 “This year has certainly had its challenges, but it’s also demonstrated the importance of coming together to support one another,” said Vale’s Chief Operating Officer of its North Atlantic Operations and Asian Refineries, Dino Otranto, who visited the drive’s centralized food quarantine space yesterday to present an additional $50,000 donation on behalf of Vale’s Sudbury employees. This follows the $100,000 of funding the company provided the Sudbury Food Bank earlier this year to help address rising demand due to COVID-19.

“USW Local 6500 is proud to say the Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive has once again made a difference in our community despite the adversity we are all facing”, said Nick Larochelle, President of USW Local 6500. “We would like to thank our members Owen Marcotte and Jeff Lalonde from Vale’s Divisional Shops, and all of the volunteers that came together to make this year’s campaign another success. A big thank you goes out to all the businesses and individuals who have participated this year, helping to ensure the needs of many Sudburians can be met during these trying times.”

Collection of the donations during the Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive is no small task and each year, campaign organizers call in the army to get the job done. “The 2nd Battalion Irish Regiment of Canada has participated in this event for many years and it is a great source of pride to the unit,” said Sgt. Scott Barbe 2nd Battalion Irish Regiment of Canada for the Canadian Armed Forces. “We participate in activities around the world and country and, at the same time, we take pleasure in serving our community for this great cause.”

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic and without the Kids Helping Kids Campaign, understandably given COVID-19 precautions, the community still came together to support this drive,” said Executive Director of the Sudbury Food Bank (BDSFB), Dan Xilon. “It is with great pride and great humility that BDSDFB recognizes the incredible efforts demonstrated by Sudbury’s citizens, businesses, organizations and schools who heard the call and made the decision to help.”

Funds continue to be collected at Sudbury Food Bank provides food to approximately 11,000 people every month through over 40-member agencies and outreach programs. Of those clients, over half are children.



(from left to right): 2nd Battalion Irish Regiment of Canada, Jeff Lalonde, Dan Xilon, Sarah Yasinchuk, Nick Larochelle, and Owen Marcotte.


(from left to right): Owen Marcotte, Dan Xilon, Dino Otranto, Sarah Yasinchuk

 For more information, please contact:

Dan Xilon                                                                      Sarah Yasinchuk

Executive Director                                                       Corporate & Indigenous Affairs Advisor

Sudbury Food Bank                                                    Vale Canada Ltd., Ontario Operations          

[email protected]                                      [email protected] 

705-671-9663                                                               705-682-6422