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'One more can' leads to 100 tonnes of food

Sharon Burton found herself speechless Dec. 20 when it came to how she feels about the success of the 25th annual Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive.
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Sharon Burton, along with her daughter Jennifer Burton and grandson Noah Jebreen, pose for photos at the Sudbury Food Bank at the wrap-up of the 25th annual Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive. Photo By Marg Seregelyi

Sharon Burton found herself speechless Dec. 20 when it came to how she feels about the success of the 25th annual Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive.

More than 400 Sudbury area businesses and 40-plus schools, as well as countless others, joined forces to collect 100 tonnes of food, a new record in the food drive's 25-year history. Last year, the food drive brought in 88 tonnes of food.

It wasn't that Sharon Burton didn't want to thank all those who continue to carry on her husband's legacy year after year, it was just that she had a difficult time putting into words just how much it means to her.

“Wow, I'm lost for words,” she said after the total was announced at the Sudbury Food Bank. “It feels so great to help people, and my husband's dream is to be on the national news, and we're working on it.”

Sudbury Food Bank chair Geoffrey Lougheed called it a “monumental moment” for Sudbury.

“We have the biggest per-capita food drive campaign in Canada, and that's due to our friend, Edgar Burton and his family, and the wonderful spirit of generosity we have in this community. We're really blessed with a caring community,” he said.

Food bank use is up across the province, and there are about 15,000 people in Sudbury alone who access one of 45 food providers supplied by the Sudbury Food Bank, Lougheed said. About 40 per cent of those users are children.

“Edgar's point was a simple one, that no one should go hungry. What a simple premise, and that's the reason you see the success we have achieved here today. A very simple, good idea has caught on in this community” Lougheed said.