Lethbridge whoops it up for FCC Drive Away Hunger
Adapting to support hungry Canadians
What do you do when you’re an enthusiastic new FCC Drive Away Hunger partner, and COVID-19 cancels your traditional events? Well, if you’re the Lethbridge & District Exhibition (LDE) team, you innovate to bring joy and help your community.
In a normal year, southern Albertans enjoy Whoop-Up Days for its midways, farmers markets, trade shows, rodeos, sporting and special events that strengthen the connection between urban and rural communities.
In 2020, the LDE team shifted to a drive-thru format that kept the fun and familiarity – and kept attendees safe. “We worked very closely with Alberta Health Services to ensure that we followed the appropriate health guidelines,” explains Mike Warkentin, LDE chief operating officer. “People could enjoy the community from the comfort and safety of their car.”
Sales and donations to FCC Drive Away Hunger
Staying true to their mandate of showcasing southern Alberta’s agriculture products, LDE partnered with local farms, businesses, and organizations to organize the event. Attendees enjoyed activities such as virtual pancake breakfasts, the National Potato Day Drive-Thru, the JUMBO Ears Drive-Thru, the Food Truck Festival and much more. During all events, the LDE team collected donations and half of all proceeds for the drive.
“We never expected the overwhelming response we received from the community,” Mike says. “On the Thursday, people were lining up for up to three hours to get JUMBO Ears. Each car would get between nine or 10 JUMBO Ears on average. And some cars were ordering up to 30 of them! In the last two days of our event, the Food Truck festival welcomed more than 2,500 cars.”
“We decided to donate through FCC Drive Away Hunger because we liked the connection to agriculture that FCC represented. And, having the ability to support a wide variety of food banks across our entire region through the FCC Drive Away Hunger program, which we are mandated to represent, was incredibly important to us.”
The LDE team raised $10,057 for FCC Drive Away Hunger, which will help feed many local families in need. And they brought a lot of fun to the community. So just like at the midway, everyone’s a winner.