The Wheatland County Food Bank received a $5,000 donation from the CGC, Nov. 7, as part of the company’s annual Give Local program.
A cheque presentation event was hosted for the occasion to present the donation. Every year, CGC plants and sales teams provide a donation to non-profits in the respective communities in which they operate.
“This is part of our company-wide Give Local program where each of the facilities in North America … has a budget of $5,000 that every year, the employees at that facility have a vote to decide which charity in the community receives this $5,000 payment,” said Steve Forcier, vice president of manufacturing for CGC. “The decision was made by our team as part of the Wheatland Plant Project and then we communicated with the food bank that we wanted to make this donation to them and then we set up this event on Tuesday where some of our employees (were) there to give them the cheque.”
CGC has been conducting their annual donations in this format for the last five years across their locations in Canada and the United States.
Forcier added he believed the timing of the donation to be particularly favourable, with the Christmas holidays coming up, and acknowledging the increased reliance on food banks during this time of year.
“It is something that is near and dear to our hearts and we want to make a difference in the communities that we operate in,” he said. “We have this Give Local donation that happens to be the Wheatland County Food Bank this year, but all of our facilities also participate in their own food drives as well.
“At this time of year, our employees bring in food and the plant teams will deliver that food to the food banks as well. We are really proud to be able to contribute to improving food security.
In speaking with Lynnette Aschenbrenner, executive director for the Wheatland County Food Bank, Forcier said specific numbers regarding the impact of the donation are hard to calculate, though $5,000 is able to make a significant difference over the holiday season.
Prior to the Give Local program, CGC facilities acted individually on making annual charitable contributions to their respective communities. The idea behind Give Local was to give structure to the donations and formalize the program so communities could see as much benefit as possible from it.
“We are a company that has been around for over 100 years and each facility for decades had their own budget and ideas on how to contribute into the communities that they operate in. About five or six years ago, we decided we want to make sure that all of the facilities in our organization have a healthy set budget to do this and standardize it across the company,” said Forcier. “The employees make the decision and the employees are the folks who live in the communities and know the issues … and it is a healthy amount of money that goes directly to a charity in the community that we operate in for them to make immediate improvements in whatever problem they are trying to solve.”
CGC is currently in the permitting and build stage of establishing a wallboard manufacturing facility within Wheatland County.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times