No matter how the Roughriders fare in Sunday’s game, Rider fans can feel good about helping the Regina Food Bank win.
Riders backup quarterback Brett Smith is encouraging fans to bring donations of non-perishable food or cash to the game for the Purolator Tackle Hunger Program. In exchange for a donation, you can take a picture with the Grey Cup.
“The generosity and selflessness of this organization is something that really struck a chord with me,” he said.
The rookie says everything he has heard about the program from his teammates has been good. He says many people on the team feel that it’s really important to give back to the community and encourage the fans to do the same.
“With how simple it is as well, just bringing non-perishable food items to the game, or a simple cash donation can really go a long way,” Smith said.
He learned how many families struggle with food security a long time ago.
“Growing up, there were instances in my life where I remember a certain friend who said that he couldn’t buy certain food until the end of the month,” he said. “So he’d come over and mom would cook him dinner and we’d do what we could to sort of help him out. So yeah, that sort of thing happens all the time.”
Steve Compton is the CEO of the Regina Food Bank which handles 8,700 requests for food every month.
“Over the course of time here in Regina with this campaign, we’ve raised over 600,000 pounds of food,” Compton said. “It’s something that helps restore our shelves after the summer. It’s a really great event.”
He says the extra food supply comes at a very important time because more people are reaching out for help; about 40 first-time requests come in each day. He says for a city the size of Regina, Rider Nation has shown incredible support for this campaign.
“The result last year was 103,000 pounds of food collected and if you’re averaging three meals for every dollar raised or every pound raised, you know, 300,000 meals for people across the community is huge,” he said.
You can drop off your food donation at Mosaic Stadium starting at 11 a.m. for a chance to take a picture with the Grey Cup. You can also donate online on Purolator’s website or on the Regina Food Bank website.