Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. recently announced a $1 million contribution, through the Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation, to 44 food banks throughout the United States, providing up to 10 million meals. The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is one of the beneficiaries receiving $250,000. In December 2020, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. acquired ArcelorMittal USA which included 7500 employees in the region and two of the Region’s cornerstone steel production sites at Indiana Harbor and Burns Harbor.
Lourenco Goncalves, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer said, “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.”
During 2020, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana recorded a nearly 60% increase in the demand for food assistance, due to the effects of the pandemic. By the end of 2020, more than 10 million pounds of food (9 million meals) had been distributed through existing and new programs. To continue to meet the ongoing demand, the Food Bank has begun several capacity building initiatives.
“The donation from The Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation comes at the perfect time. Through most of 2020, the Food Bank has been utilizing space not intended for food storage to keep up with service level demands. This investment will help us increase capacity and efficiency in our efforts to continue and expand our charitable food programs. Additionally, launching a ride on demand program eliminates a top barrier identified in our community needs assessments, transportation. Providing free rides to food pantries and our Mobile Market distribution will help get much needed food to an underserved population in our community”, said Victor A. Garcia, CEO of the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.
With the funding from The Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation, the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana will:
- Increase food storage capacity by transforming a 12,000 square foot space currently being used for equipment and fleet storage.
- Purchase bulk quantities of food for pantry partners and mobile market distributions.
- Implement a ride on demand program to increase accessibility to food assistance for individuals with barriers to transportation.
“We learned a lot about the food needs of our community in 2020. We saw significant gaps in our efforts to get food to the people who needed it most. The contribution from Cleveland-Cliffs allows us the opportunity to address those gaps and be a better resource for more people in the Region”, said Garcia.
About Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.
Cleveland-Cliffs is the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America. Founded in 1847 as a mine operator, Cliffs also is the largest supplier of iron ore pellets in North America. In 2020, Cleveland-Cliffs acquired two major steelmakers, AK Steel and ArcelorMittal USA, vertically integrating its legacy iron ore business with quality-focused steel production and emphasis on the automotive end market. Cleveland-Cliffs’ fully integrated portfolio includes custom-made pellets and Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI); flat-rolled carbon steel, stainless, electrical, plate, tin and long steel products; as well as carbon and stainless steel tubing, hot and cold stamping and tooling. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland-Cliffs employs approximately 25,000 people across its mining, steel and downstream manufacturing operations in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.clevelandcliffs.com.