Wednesday, 07 December 2016 14:33

SWT Terminal record donation to Salvation Army helps fight hunger

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Major Don Grad (at left) of the Salvation Army in Swift Current gives a tour of the food bank operation to SWT General Manager Monty Reich (at front, right) and FCC Territory Relationship Manager John Steele, Nov. 29. Major Don Grad (at left) of the Salvation Army in Swift Current gives a tour of the food bank operation to SWT General Manager Monty Reich (at front, right) and FCC Territory Relationship Manager John Steele, Nov. 29. Matthew Liebenberg

Support from local producers helped South West Terminal (SWT) to make a record donation of $53,436.60 to the Swift Current Salvation Army in support of the local food bank.

SWT General Manager Monty Reich and Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Territory Relationship Manager John Steele made a cheque presentation to Major Don Grad of the Salvation Army in Swift Current, Nov. 29.
According to Reich, it is the third year that SWT has participated in the FCC Drive Away Hunger campaign, a nationwide program to reduce hunger across Canada.
“So the money is raised through the month of October, the first couple of weeks of October, and really it’s a big push with our farm customers and with our employees,” he said. “Many of our farm customers are donating partial or full loads of grain and we’ve got employees that are donating portions of their cheque to the drive, for the whole FCC and SWT Drive Away Hunger program.”
Producers were requested to donate a portion of their crop delivery or to donate cash, and their contribution was then matched by SWT.
Last year’s SWT campaign raised $33,410 and the company’s target for 2016 was $50,000. This year’s total is a new record for the initiative.
“This is definitely our largest push,” he said. “It was pretty amazing how over the last week also we had a big push from our customers and our employees and it definitely exceeded our expectations. We had a bit of a push of $50,000 and we ended up just over $50,000. So we’re very excited with that.”
It is important for SWT to give back to the communities where the company is doing business and where employees are living.
“We like to be part of organizations that are helping with the community and helping those in need, specifically in southwest Saskatchewan,” he said. “We have an amazing support from all of our teams. All of our locations are located in southwest Saskatchewan in small communities. So we feel that we want to give back wherever our employees live and work in small towns, and it's part of our mantra. It's what we're made of and we like to give back as much as we possibly can.”
The company has a close connection to food production in southwest Saskatchewan through its various facilities across the region. It therefore makes sense to provide support to the food bank, which assists people in need.
“We’re probably fortunate enough in many of our communities and in the industry that we’re in to have the ability to get to food,” he said. “It’s something that we feel that it’s our small token of giving back to those who maybe don’t have the fortunate ability to get to food like some of us do. So we really appreciate giving back to the food drive.”
Major Don Grad expressed his appreciation towards SWT and FCC for supporting the food bank in Swift Current, which provides food directly to people as well as through other community organizations in the region.
“I’m just always amazed at the generous support of the people of Swift Current and southwest Saskatchewan in terms of supporting the Salvation Army and the many things we do,” he said. “Indeed, through the year, we try to turn around and return things to the community through other agencies and just do our part as part of the greater community.”
The Salvation Army is currently undertaking its 103rd annual Christmas campaign in the Swift Current area. The goal of this year’s campaign is to raise $195,000. The donations provided to the Salvation Army and the food bank during the festive season makes a difference to their activities into next year.
“The funds we raise at Christmas are a large part of what support our operations throughout the year,” he said. “We’re closed between Christmas and New Year’s, but 51 weeks of the year people can come in and get bread, potatoes, they can make appointments to get full hampers, which is like three or four big bags of foods. So we operate year round, providing that to people, and we also support other local agencies with food, and that's an important part.”
He noted the Salvation Army and the food bank aim to make a difference as part of a larger effort within the community.
“We want to be a part of the bigger community, not just within ourselves of course,” he said. “So that’s always a great privilege for us to share with other agencies and communities, including Shaunavon and Maple Creek.”

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Matthew Liebenberg