Race Against Hunger rolls into Ponoka Stampede

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The World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) is teaming up with Encana once again for the Race Against Hunger at the Ponoka Stampede. This year

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) is teaming up with Encana once again for the Race Against Hunger at the Ponoka Stampede. This year

The World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) is teaming up with Encana once again for the Race Against Hunger at the Ponoka Stampede.

Now in its second year, the program raises awareness and donations of food and funds for local food banks in the summer months when contributions can be fewer than the need. This year, Encana will match all donations dollar for dollar or $2 per pound of food up to $10,000.

Food and comfort have run deep throughout the WPCA’s heritage, with chuckwagons once serving as the rolling kitchens of the prairies. Adding a modern twist to the tradition, Encana’s natural gas powered ‘truck wagon’ will serve as the collection point for donations. The Dodge pickup truck turned covered wagon will be located near the grandstand entrance for the duration of the Stampede where volunteers from the Renegade Riders and Silver Valley 4-H Clubs, along with volunteers from the Ponoka Food Bank will be accepting donations.

“We’re excited that to date this year, the program has raised almost $18,500 and more than 4,000 pounds of food in other communities. We encourage everyone to bring a donation of non-perishable food or cash in support of the Ponoka Food Bank during this great community event,” says Mike Forgo, vice-president of business services and stakeholder relations at Encana.

“Our company is privileged to work in the Ponoka area, and the Race Against Hunger is part of our larger commitment to making this a strong and sustainable community.”

The WPCA is rearing to go, and the drivers are a key part of the program action this year. “We’re very pleased to have the support of Encana,” says Meghan McIvor, marketing manager with the WPCA. “As part of our long-time partnership, the company issued a friendly challenge to our drivers – whomever engages his friends, family and sponsors to raise the most food and cash for Race Against Hunger will be recognized as the official ‘Food Driver of the Year’ and will be eligible for a $1,000 prize and matching donation to the food bank of his choice, courtesy of Encana.”

Watch for the WPCA Food Drivers at Hamilton’s IGA on Wednesday, June 29 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The guys will be bagging your groceries and selling food hampers in support of the Race Against Hunger. Get behind a favourite driver and help him win to the Food Driver of the Year Award.

In 2010, the program raised $25,000 and more than 3,800 pounds of food for community food banks.