GUELPH, Ont. – When global food producer Bonduelle wanted to give back to the Southwestern Ontario communities in which it operates, it turned to its transportation partner Wellington Group of Companies to help. Producing food was the easy part for Bonduelle – getting it to the food banks where it was desperately needed was the challenge.
The company has three facilities in Southwestern Ontario, where it produces frozen and canned vegetables under the Arctic Garden and Del Monte labels.
“As part of the Covid situation, we are trying to be supportive of the local communities in which we are present,” Patrice Legare, director of supply chain services with Bonduelle told Today’s Trucking. “I know Wellington has always been highly involved in community projects, so we reached out to Wellington to see if they could offer transport services.”
Over two days in early May, 17 skids of donated food products were delivered to area food banks in Hamilton, Guelph, Waterloo, and Cambridge, Ont. The loads were delivered personally by Mark Lunshof, vice-president of supply chain and part owner of the Wellington Group of Companies. Derek Koza, president of Wellington Group, said the company was honored to play a part in the initiative.
“It’s easier to donate to charity when times are good, however it takes a special group of people to give back when people need it the most,” he said.
When delivering the donated food, Lunshof was struck by the commitment of the frontline workers and volunteers at the local food banks.
“A lot of these food bank volunteers are exposing themselves to Covid to help their communities,” he said.
Contributing its transport services to get donated food to local food banks isn’t the only way Wellington Group has helped out. On May 1, director of operations Chris West sent out a company-wide email offering to shave his beard into a Hulk Hogan-style moustache if his colleagues collectively contributed $200 to Sick Kids Hospital, where a Covid-19 outbreak had just been reported.
“We quickly hit that goal,” said Koza. “So then, our director of human resources Mike Zelek said if we hit $600, he would shave his head.”
In just two hours, Wellington staff had chipped in $1,300 towards the unplanned initiative. Both employees honored their commitments May 4.
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