Saskatchewan residents generously gave over the winter season to support food banks across the province thanks to a fundraiser organized by PotashCorp.
PotashCorp and people across the province have successfully teamed up again to support Saskatchewan food banks, raising more than $2 million over the holiday season, said a release from PotashCorp.
PotashCorp matched the first $500,000 donated by residents to the campaign, but Saskatchewan people donated far more, making $1,640,000 in donations. The final total reached $2,140,000.
The fundraising drive for 2016 focused on bringing in contributions during the month of December to ensure food banks were well-stocked and ready to serve their clients during the busy festive season.
“Food banks do important work year-round, helping make sure people have access to the healthy food they need. But we know there is always additional demand for the holidays,” said Jochen Tilk, president and CEO of PotashCorp. “We were happy to see that our matching gift inspired so many individuals and organizations to make contributions during a busy month.”
Money from the campaign helped provide food hampers through the holiday season and will support the year-round efforts of food banks.
Since 2010, the holiday matching gift campaigns have raised nearly $17.5 million, with PotashCorp contributing $6.5 million of that amount.
“Here in Saskatoon, we were certainly feeling concerned as we headed into our major fundraising season because we know times are tough for a lot of people,” said Laurie O’Connor, executive director of the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre. “We were so grateful to see thousands of supporters come through in a big way for people who are struggling through difficult times.”
“Thank you PotashCorp for your leadership and commitment in ensuring food security for all Saskatchewan citizens,” said Steve Compton, executive director of the Food Banks of Saskatchewan. “These funds will allow Saskatchewan food banks to meet the challenges of hunger and food insecurity not only during the holidays but in the months ahead.”
In 2016, the number of people using food banks in Saskatchewan increased 17.5 per cent, going from 26,727 individuals served in March 2015 to 31,395 in 2016. The percentage of users who are children was 45.6 per cent, which is higher than anywhere in the country.
PotashCorp is the world’s largest crop nutrient company and plays an integral role in global food production. The company produces the three essential nutrients, potash, phosphates and nitrogen, required to help farmers grow crops.