Thanks to Cliffs Foundation more families will be fed

Big applause for Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., which announced Tuesday that its philanthropic organization, The Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation, has made several commitments totaling more than $1 million in cash contributions to several food distribution organizations in the local communities where the company operates throughout the United States and Canada.

The foundation plans to distribute the majority of its funding immediately, according to a post on the company’s website.

A release from the company offered these words from Lourenco Goncalves — Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer: “We sadly recognize that, throughout the United States and Canada, millions of households are experiencing food insecurity amid the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. As a direct consequence, local food banks are being challenged to respond to the needs of a growing number of their fellow citizens.

“As a leader in the North American steel industry and a prominent employer in many of the communities where we operate, we believe that Cleveland-Cliffs has a role to play in supporting these food banks. We are helping our neighbors facing hunger, and we encourage other employers to step up and tackle the issue of hunger by also supporting local food banks.”

Wonderful. The holiday season is over and the many food-gathering efforts are not quite in the forefront as they were at Christmastime.

But as they say, hunger knows no season.

The release from the company explains Cleveland-Cliffs is collaborating with 44 food distribution organizations in over 35 communities across the United States — in Ohio, Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia — as well as in the Province of Ontario, in Canada.

The company’s total contribution is estimated to provide up to 10 million meals, which is based on guidance from hunger-relief organizations in the United States.

Patricia Persico, director of corporate communication for Cliffs, said via email that the company is partnering with two agencies in this area: The Salvation Army and Feeding American West Michigan. People from both these organizations were both surprised and thrilled.

Jean LaBerge, director of the Western Upper Peninsula Food Bank, based in Houghton, said: “This is the first I have heard of it, but all donations are welcome because that means more food to distribution and more pantries can be scheduled. Whatever amount would be a help. We haven’t been notified, but anything will be most welcome.”

“It was not something we applied for, it just came out of the blue,” Salvation Army Capt. Doug Winters said. “We receive regular Christmas help from the Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation, but to receive this grant was very much surprising in an environment right now where the need continues to grow.

“We’re pleased to turn that back into help for the community immediately. Cliffs is a very great partner who helps us on a regular basis. They’re a company that’s concerned about the communities they work in, and it shows through a gift like this. It really was a pleasant surprise.”

To find out more about the Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation, visit www.clevelandcliffs.com.


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