The game (held at Winnipeg’s Bell MTS Place) featured very little productive offence by the home team, while the visiting Predators managed to silence the 40,000+ gathered both inside and out of the arena.
Although the main attraction on Monday was game six, the fans congregating Winnipeg’s downtown on a 31 degree spring day also came for a party. With food carts, concession stands, cheap drinks and live entertainment, there had to have been some sort of entrance fee, no?
In partnership with True North Sports and Entertainment, central Canada’s largest food bank, Winnipeg Harvest, once again brought out hundreds of donation bins for non-perishable food items to be given to Manitoba’s less-fortunate upon entrance to the party.
Following a successful haul at Thursday’s game four of the prior week that saw 2,700 pounds of food donated and $3,500 dollars sent to the organization, Winnipeg Harvest put out the call to beat those numbers on Monday night.
In answering that call, Winnipeggers upped their giving significantly prior to puckdrop. With bins stationed outside of each arena entrance and scattered throughout the Winnipeg Whiteout street party, donations of canned goods, pastas, fruits, vegetables, dried meals and complex carbohydrates continued to pile in from 5:00 P.M. to midnight.
Jets fans blew the previous record of 2,700 pounds out of the water Monday by bringing in a grand total of 17,500 pounds of food to be donated to the local food bank – an increase of nearly 550 percent.
The Winnipeg Jets’ American Hockey League affiliate – who are currently also in a second round playoff matchup – also welcomed donations to Winnipeg Harvest upon three occasions. In total, 31,000 pounds of food has been donated in the past week alone – adding to the totals raised earlier in the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose food drives (42,000 pounds).
Even though the 25-foot tall Budweiser Red Light – situated at the barricaded intersection of Donald and Graham – did not have the opportunity to show off its red glow Monday, the city of Winnipeg was able to come together to celebrate a very successful regular season and playoff run.
In feeding roughly 65,000 Manitobans monthly (half of which are children), Winnipeg Harvest is the largest food bank in Central Canada. Although only providing 17,500 pounds in donations, Winnipeggers certainly had an impact on the approximate 15 million pounds of food shipped annually through the help and support of volunteers at Winnipeg Harvest.
As a not-for-profit, community-based food bank, Winnipeg Harvest thrives on its volunteer activity. Instilling the values of selfless giving and hard work can be found through volunteering. There are numerous volunteer opportunities available at winnipegharvest.org.
By Carter Brooks
Photos by James Carey Lauder and Winnipeg Harvest