Newly-formed Nutrien will follow in the charitable footsteps of well-known corporate donor PotashCorp, according to Nutrien president and CEO Chuck Magro.

Nutrien is the product of a merger between Saskatoon-based PotashCorp and Calgary-based Agrium.

Magro attended a press conference at the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre Thursday afternoon to highlight Nutrien's donations to food banks across Saskatchewan.

"Nutrien has played an enormous role in strengthening capacity, stabilizing infrastructure, and ensuring food banks in small towns and urban centres across our province can continue providing emergency food to those who need it most," said Food Banks of Saskatchewan executive director Laurie O'Connor.


Laurie O'Connor, the executive director of Food Banks of Saskatchewan, speaks at a press conference announcing Nutrien's donation of $500,000. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

Nutrien gave the provincial organization $500,000 by over the holidays as part of the annual "matching campaign," where Nutrien matches the first half-million dollars raised.

According to O'Connor, the donation will go toward infrastructure like better shelving and refrigerating trucks, programming like cooking classes and community gardens, and higher quality food.

Another grant from the G. Murray and Edna Forbes Foundation Fund for $43,750 was matched through the food banks' holiday campaign with Nutrien, and went directly toward a supply-chain effort to warehouse, sort and pack food to be sent out across Saskatchewan.


Boxes of food are ready to be shipped out from the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre's warehouse. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

PotashCorp was noted for spending one per cent of its earnings on charity, but there is no such goal for Nutrien — yet.

"Those things will need to be worked out at the board level," said Magro

"We don't need a target or a specific number to be a responsible citizen in the community."