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Kraft Hockeyville gives 10,000 pound food donation to Alberta town

Cochrane will receive $10,000 in hockey equipment, 10,000 lbs of food for the food bank, and $25,000 for Cochrane Arena upgrades, even though they lost their bid for an NHL game.
Following Cochrane's Kraft Hockeyville run, Kraft Heinz will donate 10,000 lbs of food to the community.

Despite an unsuccessful run in securing the coveted title of Kraft Hockeyville, Cochrane will still walk away with a win, provided by a 10,000-pound donation of food by Kraft Heinz, to support those in need in the community.

As one of the top four in the competition, Cochrane will also receive $10,000 in hockey equipment for deserving youth in the NHLPA, alongside $25,000 for the Cochrane Arena, also known as ‘The Old Barn.’

In 2022, the Kraft Heinz company provided 334 million meals to people in need through world-wide food assistance programs. After Cochrane’s Hockeyville run, the chair of Cochrane’s Kraft Hockeyville committee, Catriona Hill, said she was astonished by the good news.

“This is an incredible gift for our community,” she said, “While it would have been thrilling to win the grand prize to upgrade Cochrane Arena, this in-kind donation from Kraft Heinz will have a significant positive impact on our most vulnerable citizens. 10,000 pounds – that’s about the same weight (in food) as a COLT Transit bus or a Killer Whale.”

The food will be distributed and handled by the Helping Hands Society of Cochrane and Area, where it will be distributed among local free food sheds in Cochrane and Iyahrhe Nakoda Food Banks.

Helping Hands executive director, Laura McDonald, noted that Alberta has the highest rate of food insecurity in Canada.

“Alberta has the highest rate of food insecurity in the country. Many people in our community and surrounding area do not have access to sufficient food,” she said. “In 2023 alone, Helping Hands provided the equivalent of 231,187 meals through donations and our food rescue program. We are extremely happy to accept this donation and get it into the mouths of those who need it most.”

SLS Centre CEO, Erin Wagner, said both her and the community are very grateful for the donation and the support they provided for Cochrane.

“My team is already working on how to best utilize the $25,000 prize money that we received for being in the top four and looking to grow that through fundraising and grants to be able to make fan experience changes at Cochrane Arena,” Wagner said. “We also won $10,000 in equipment for deserving youth in our community from the NHLPA Goals and Dreams fund and will work with the Cochrane Minor Hockey Association to see that this equipment gets to those who need a hand up in our hockey community.”

Mayor Jeff Genung also chimed in on the excitement, by adding that this couldn’t be possible without community involvement in Cochrane’s recent run in Kraft Hockeyville.

“I couldn’t be happier about this incredible donation from Kraft Heinz, made possible through our involvement in Kraft Hockeyville” said Genung, “A big shoutout to the Helping Hands Society for their dedication in distributing food to those in need.

“It’s heartwarming to see our community coming together like this, making Cochrane an even more vibrant and caring community to call home.”

Daniel Gonzalez

About the Author: Daniel Gonzalez

Daniel Gonzalez joined the Cochrane Eagle in 2022. He is a graduate of the Mount Royal University Journalism program. He has worked for the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta and as a reporter in rural Alberta for the ECA Review.
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