EDMONTON, AB - This holiday season, the Edmonton Oilers and Safeway are teaming up to answer the call for food aid in the Edmonton community. The organizations will partner to launch the Oilers Holiday Food Drive to help ease Edmonton's Food Bank donation shortage and are looking to fans to lend a helping hand.
In advance of the remaining home games and events in December, non-perishable donations will be collected in Ford Hall starting two hours in advance of puck drop until the end of the first period for all Oilers homes games (Dec. 20 vs. Pittsburgh, Dec. 21 vs. Montreal, Dec. 27 vs. Calgary and Dec. 31 vs. New York Rangers). Donations will also be collected from 10:00AM to 12:00PM at the Oilers Skills Competition on Dec. 29. Tickets to the games are not required to drop off donations.
Edmonton's Food Bank, a longstanding partner of both the Edmonton Oilers and Safeway, is facing a critical gap in donations to reach its goal of 370,000 kilograms of food. To kick off the effort and build momentum, Safeway is proudly donating $10,000 in food aid. The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation is matching the donation, for a total of $20,000 in food support out of the gate.
With each game-day donation of a non-perishable item, Oilers fans will be entered to win The Ultimate Oilers Game Day Experience. The experience will be hosted on Wednesday, January 29 and includes:
The opportunity to attend an Oilers practice
A private lunch with Chef Tardi in Studio 99 (including a meet and greet with Jack Michaels)
A behind the scenes tour of Rogers Place
A Loge Table for 4 people on January 29, 2020
A $250 food and beverage credit
A meet and greet with Leon Draisaitl and a signed jersey
"Safeway has been ingrained in the fabric of the Edmonton community for decades, donating millions in much-needed food and funds for local charities like Edmonton's Food Bank," said Renée Hopfner, Director, Community Investment, Sobeys Inc. "When we heard there was a critical shortage, we didn't hesitate to help put food on the table for our neighbours turning to the food bank this holiday season."
"When friends and neighbours in our community are in need, it is important for all of us to step up and ensure everyone has food and fellowship, especially during the holiday season," said Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation Executive Director Natalie Minckler. "Edmonton's Food Bank is a pillar within the community, and we need our fans to help us provide for those struggling with food insecurity and poverty."
Edmonton's Food Bank is integral in responding to immediate hunger needs in the Edmonton Community particularly through its Festive Campaign - a series of donation events - running until January 10, 2020.
"Edmonton's Food Bank is more than just a holiday hamper. We provide community meals across the city. We provide schools with snacks. We help the homeless shelters. We provide food hampers to individuals and families throughout the year and we need your help," said Marjorie Bencz, CM, Executive Director, Edmonton's Food Bank. "Children are disproportionately represented - 40 per cent of hamper clients are kids. Oilers fans have stepped up in the past and we are asking them to once again help us ensure that hope is on the menu in 2020."
Fans that are unable to make it to Ford Hall are encouraged to stop by their local Safeway store to show their support. Safeway is accepting $2 check stand donations until December 22, with 100% of funds raised supporting the Edmonton Food Bank. In addition, community members can purchase a $5 or $10 food bank hamper year-round to further their giving. Donation drop-off bins can be found at all Safeway stores in Edmonton.
The Oilers Holiday Food Drive builds off of a longstanding partnership with the Edmonton Food Bank. Earlier this year, Oilers star Leon Draisaitl championed the WE Scare Hunger Campaign, partnering with Ford Canada and hundreds of area students to raise over 17,000 pounds of food.