Thunder Bay – NEWS – Today, Impala Canada announced a $375,000 investment in Thunder Bay’s Roots to Harvest, representing the largest corporate donation made to the organization to date, and Impala Canada’s largest ever social investment.
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With this funding, Impala Canada will be a foundational partner in the $2 million capital campaign launched by Roots to Harvest last month.
Over the next five years, Roots to Harvest will open the new Roots Community Food Centre dining room, develop and implement monthly Traditional Food Meals for Elders and seniors in Northwestern Ontario, and build five sustainable, regional food projects that will contribute to capacity building, deepening connections to community and Indigenous traditions, and empowering traditionally vulnerable groups – all through the power of food.
“Our organizations share the same values – caring for one another, respecting culture and diversity, and delivering meaningful support to the community at large to combat the systemic issues that contribute to food insecurity and poverty,” said Tim Hill, CEO of Impala Canada. “As a mining company committed to sustainable practices and a major employer in the region, Impala Canada is seizing an opportunity to amplify the good work of Roots to Harvest, and we are honoured to play a supporting role as they contribute to both regional and national food security, by working with Indigenous partners to incorporate an Indigenous food lens, and build capacity across the region.”
“A gift of this size translates to immediate and long-term impacts for thousands of people in Northwestern Ontario. Food insecurity is a community issue and we’re thankful that Impala Canada is backing this work and our capital campaign in such a significant way,” said Erin Beagle, Executive Director, Roots to Harvest. “This sustained funding will mean that we can dedicate time and resources to tackling the root causes of food insecurity together with community partners and leaders. We’re committed to building strong relationships in order to have an impact on these complicated issues.”
The benefit of this investment will extend to individuals and groups across the Thunder Bay region, including seniors and Elders: “The Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre congratulates Roots to Harvest and Impala Canada on getting one step closer to opening a community kitchen with a focus on traditional foods. Our elders in the Life Long Care Program will be extremely honoured to share a meal and enjoy ancestral foods with family and community. Food is medicine and helps us maintain balance in our lives. Chi-Miigwetch for the opportunity to promote Mino Bimaadiziwin (Living the Good Life) in our community,” said Charlene Baglien, Executive Director of the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre.
Impala joins other partners in helping to provide access to healthy food options for Northerners, including the Government of Ontario. Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry and Minister of Indigenous Affairs said, “the mining industry plays a critical role in the vitality of northern communities and regions like Thunder Bay. Impala Canada’s investment in Roots to Harvest is a perfect example of how partnerships between businesses and grassroots organizations can help the vulnerable, strengthen communities, and build capacity and resilience in meaningful ways.”
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North, recognized the significance of this partnership for the constituency: “Roots to Harvest and Erin Beagle have long been a strong voice and community partner to the people and organizations of this region. I’m thrilled for them to undertake this new journey and pleased to see this investment by private industry to recognize and support the important work they do for our neighbours.”
About Impala Canada
Impala Canada Limited is part of Impala Platinum Holdings Limited (the Implats Group), an integrated global platinum group metal (PGM) producer. Our Lac des Iles palladium mine has been in operations for nearly 30 years and is located 90 minutes northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario. With a workforce of over 700 people, Lac des Iles features a unique, world-class ore body and modern infrastructure, including both an underground mine and surface operations.