Kelly Spurway hands out bag lunches on Main Street in Smithers out of the Salvation Army’s mobile community service unit. (Thom Barker photo)

Mining and exploration industries donate $100K to B.C. food banks

Demand continues to grow as pandemic drags on

British Columbia food banks are getting a big boost from the province’s mining and mineral exploration industries.

The Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) announced yesterday its two-month #MiningFeedsBC Food Bank Challenge had raised $100,000 for B.C. food banks.

“These funds will provide targeted relief to those living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities facing food security challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” a press release stated.

Dan Huang-Taylor, executive director of Food Banks BC, said the money is a welcome infusion.

“Lineups for food are continuing to grow and resources are stretched even further under the increasing levels of demand across our province,” he said. “Thanks to this significant donation from the BC mining and exploration community through the #MiningFeedsBC food bank challenge, we can provide much-needed resources to BC Food Banks as they continue to support their communities and tackle hunger across our province.”

READ MORE: Demand for food hampers surges with COVID-19

One-half of the $100,000 came from a single company, Wheaton Precious Metals. Wheaton is a precious metals streaming company (they buy production from mines upfront at a predetermined price). Wheaton has interests in 20 producing mines and nine development projects including three of each in Canada.

Its only B.C. investment is the Kutcho property is located approximately 100 kilometres east of Dease Lake.

“We are proud to do our part by accepting the #MiningFeedsBC Food Bank challenge and grateful for the overwhelming support for this cause by the mining and exploration industry,” said Randy Smallwood, Wheaton president and CEO, who also made an undisclosed personal donation.

READ MORE: Area food banks receiving emergency grants in response to COVID-19 impacts

The challenge was co-sponsored by Integra Resources, a Vancouver-based mining and exploration company primarily focussed on reopening the DeLamar gold mine in Idaho.

President and CEO George Salamis said he was impressed by the industry’s response.

“Seeing our industry be welcoming neighbours, offering a helping hand and working to build capacity and reduce burdens, is really powerful and inspiring.”



editor@interior-news.com

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