Kitchener Rangers challenge fans to set new record for upcoming food drive

The Kitchener Rangers are hosting more than the Guelph Storm on Feb. 13, they’re also hosting a food drive. They are challenging the local community to help them set a new record. Any fans for either team are invited to bring a non-perishable food item with them or make a financial donation. All of which goes to The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, which has been skating on thin ice lately.

The past holiday season was busy for the food bank and their inventory levels are low.

“More people than ever are reaching out for help, at The Food Bank of Waterloo Region we are seeing our highest need in almost 40 years,” said Kim Wilhelm, the CEO of the food bank. “Last year over 58,000 people in Waterloo Region accessed a food assistance program.”

Sawyer Hume, Kitchener Ranger’s ticketing and sponsorship coordinator said they are aiming to set a new donation record during the game on Feb. 13.

“We encourage our fans, as well as fans traveling from Guelph, to bring a non-perishable food item or perhaps provide a financial donation that will benefit folks in our community,” said Hume.

Last year the region came together to provide one million meals through events like the one the Kitchener Rangers are hosting next week. The Kitchener Rangers food drive last year raised more than 8,500 meals for the community.

Wilhelm said the need in the region continues to rise, as the cost of living keeps rising. More than 450,000 visits to the food hamper program were made in the region last year and more than 7,500 households accessed food assistance for the very first time.

“To ensure we can continue to support people struggling to put food on the table we need your help,” said Wilhelm.

Three years ago one in 20 households in the region accessed food assistance programs, now that number is one in 10.

The Valentine’s Day game next Tuesday will have food donation bins located at entry points as well as a community corner where donations can be dropped off.

The Rangers partnered with Ontario Pork and Feed Ontario for the food drive.

“The hockey match on February 13 is not just a meeting of the Highway 7 rivals, the Rangers and the Guelph Storm but it also coincides with the celebration of Canada’s agricultural day,” said John de Bruyn, board chair for Ontario Pork.

Ontario Pork has supported Feed Ontario and its network of food banks across the province for over a decade.

Fans can purchase Ontario Pork’s cookbook during the game ‘Whole Hog Recipe Book’ which is a compilation of recipes put together by people who provide food for the province daily. All proceeds for that book will go to Feed Ontario.

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