Waterloo Food Bank takes second in national competition
The Food Bank of Waterloo Region was awarded the silver medal in the Great Canadian Food Fight, a cross-country food drive.
In 48 hours, Waterloo competed against other regions in a fundraising competition, attempting to collect as many food and monetary donations as possible. This year, Waterloo Region raised $118,059 between Oct. 17 to 19
This year’s competitors were Victoria, Regina, Halifax, Newmarket and Prince Albert, with Regina winning first place after raising 294,834 pounds of food.
Cumulatively, this year’s food fight raised a total of 599,815 pounds.
Monetary totals were also converted into a weight, with one pound of food equated to a $2.50 dollar donation.
“It isn’t just an event to raise money and food, it’s also an awareness-raising event to address the need for food banks,” said Wendi Campbell, the executive director of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.
Currently, the Food Bank distributes food to 78 member agencies and food programs in the community, who then distribute food directly to those in need. Campbell explained that many people in the community rely on the Food Bank, especially during the winter seasons.
Because of the event, enough food has been raised in the Waterloo Region to enable The Food Bank to serve its agencies and their food program participants for the next six weeks.
This annual “food Fight” was launched in 2010, after a national food bank meeting where they decided to expand the event that started in Regina.
Campbell went on to emphasize the importance of community involvement and the ways this event brings the Waterloo Region together.
“This event is about building the community up,” she added. “Community awareness of the need for donations and the importance of the Food Bank initiatives is the main focus right now”.
People were also encouraged to volunteer in “teams” and sort the donated food.
Steve Compton, executive director of the Regina Food Bank also weighed in, saying: “this food is an integral part of supporting our respective communities with much needed food”.
This event is part of the fall food drive that starts just before Oktoberfest and goes until Halloween, working to acquire sufficient supplies that will last through the winter.
Fall food drives take place across Canada to help refill the shelves that become depleted over the summer months. With the holiday season starting, the competition brings awareness to the ongoing needs of community food banks throughout the holidays and year round.