The Eskimos want to Rally The Empire both on and off the field this week.
While the football players take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the first time this season on Friday, Aug. 25, at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium, the CFL team hopes its fan base comes ready to tackle hunger and support the team.
Bins will be positioned for food collection outside all of the main gates at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium on Purolator Tackle Hunger night, which is one of the Edmonton Food Bank’s key annual donation drives.
The Esks collected the equivalent of 94,448 pounds in combined food and monetary donations last year. The team record for the Purolator Tackle Hunger night is 142,430 pounds of food in 2015.
So far this season, the Ottawa Redblacks collected 38,095 pounds on July 8, the Calgary Stampeders totalled 74,117 pounds on July 22, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders had 59,067 on Aug. 13. The B.C. Lions’ Tackle Hunger campaign was scheduled for Aug. 18.
Volunteers will be on-site at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium two hours before kickoff to help fans dropping off non-perishable food items and/or wishing to make monetary donations towards the cause (Note: $1 equals two pounds of food).
This year, the players’ and coaches’ significant others and family members will also join the volunteers to help collect donations alongside staff from the Food Bank and Purolator.
Anyone making a donation will have the opportunity to get their picture taken with the Grey Cup, courtesy of Purolator, outside of Gate 9 before the game.
In addition, the Eskimos are also running a Donate To Crank contest for a chance to win two game tickets, a chance to crank the game siren or to get on the field for the halftime performance by DNCE, a dance/rock group assembled by frontman Joe Jonas from the Jonas Brothers. DNCE was named Best New Artist at the 2016 MTV Music Video Awards. Take donations (remember: $1 equals two pounds of food) to the Esks Team Store between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 23.
Almost 20,000 people per month (40 per cent are children under the age of 18) received food hampers from the Edmonton Food Bank last year. The Food Bank also distributed more than 500,000 meals and snacks each month through more than 230 agencies, churches and food departments and approximately 40,000 nutritious snacks per week to 47 schools through the School Snack Program.
Besides monetary donations, the most needed items on the Food Bank’s list are: beans with or without pork, canned fish or meat, baby formula, peanut butter, healthy school snacks (juice boxes, granola bars, fruit cups), soup, canned fruit or vegetables and pasta/pasta sauce.