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Rock & Wrap It Up Warms Hearts and Fills Bellies

by Staff Writer / Edmonton Oilers

It’s hard to imagine 14,000 pounds of food. To put it into perspective, it’s about the same weight as five cars. That’s how much food has been donated to the Edmonton Food Bank’s Second Helping program since the 2010-11 season when the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, Oilers, Oil Kings, Dominion Sports Service and Northlands partnered to save and freeze any left over, prepared and unused food from concerts and hockey games as part of the Rock & Wrap It Up program.

Over 11,000 meals have been prepared since the Rock & Wrap It Up program began making donations to the Edmonton Food Bank. In late October, a gift of over 1,000 pounds of food was made and in less than 24 hours it was all gone. Local non-profit agencies jump at the opportunity to use this high-quality food to feed their clients.

“As fast as it comes in, it goes out,” said Tamisan Bencz-Knight, Manager, Strategic Relations & Partnerships, Edmonton Food Bank. “What’s so nice about (the food) is it’s prepared. You just need to thaw it, warm it and serve it. The quality of the product is amazing and it’s simple and easy program to run.”

The most recent donation benefited Our House addiction recovery agency which focus their efforts on supporting men who’ve detoxed and are working to rebuild their lives.

“When you think that all this food could go to waste rather than being used to benefit other people, it’s clear the program is a win-win for everybody," said Natalie Minckler, Executive Director, Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation. “This program just makes so much sense and the benefits are seen at agencies around Oil Country.”

DSS's food preparation team is quick to flash freeze and label any remaining food after events at Rexall Place to ensure it meets health codes. The food that’s donated ranges from steak, chicken, pizza, chili and ribs and provides a hearty meal for those in need.

The first donation of the 2012-13 season equated to 813 meals. The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, Oil Kings and Northlands look forward to making many more donations this season.

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