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Whitehorse food bank receives $100K donation from mining company

The Whitehorse Food Bank has just received a big cash donation — $100,000 from the Victoria Gold Corp.

Victoria Gold Corp. donation 'possibly one of the largest donations we received,' says head of food bank

Canned goods and produce are the staple items distributed in food hampers by the Whitehorse Food Bank. The cash donation from Victoria Gold Corp. means bigger food hampers that will last longer for Yukoners. (Wayne Vallevand/CBC)

The Whitehorse Food Bank has just received a big cash donation — $100,000 from the Victoria Gold Corp.

The food bank says the donation will go a long way during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"It is possibly one of the largest donations we received," says Dave Blottner, executive director of the Whitehorse Food Bank.

"Definitely the largest we received in a long time, and yeah, it's jaw-dropping generous."

Blottner says demand at the food bank has been very high over the last two months.

He says the donation from Victoria Gold — which operates the Eagle gold mine in central Yukon — was a "game-changer" for his board of directors.

"Our mandate originally was focusing strictly on Whitehorse and the Whitehorse community, as the Whitehorse food bank," he said.

"And whereas we've been helping some communities with little bits and pieces where we could, this took the strain of us being able to do that, and just being like, OK, we're going to do whatever we can, wherever we can." he said.

Blottner says they will now be able to provide bigger food hampers that will last longer for Yukoners. 

Victoria Gold president John McConnell says there are a lot of people in Yukon who are not working because of the pandemic.

'We just thought it was an opportunity to give back to the community,' said John McConnell, president of Victoria Gold Corp. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

"We are fortunate to continue to operate the Eagle mine, and we just thought it was an opportunity to give back to the community," he said.

McConnell says the mine, located about 85 kilometres from Mayo, is in full production. He says strict safety measures have been put in place to protect workers at the site, and adhere to guidelines from Yukon's chief medical officer.

McConnell says he hopes other Yukon companies still in operation will also consider donating to the food bank. And he says the people who should benefit the most from the Eagle development are Yukoners.  

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