Food for Thought Blog

OktoberfestCares donates over 50,000 meals to help The Food Bank of Waterloo Region 

November 22nd, 2020Media Releases

(Waterloo Region – Nov.19, 2020) – The Food Bank of Waterloo Region and Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, came together to help those in need through a number of programs supporting the Onkel Hans Food Drive this Thanksgiving season. Representatives from OktoberfestCares, Piller’s and Zehrs, presented The Food Bank of Waterloo Region with a cheque for $16,831 – representing over 50,000 meals – raised during the 2020 festival.

Tim Beckett, President of K-W Oktoberfest Inc., says, “Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when so many of our regular events were not able to happen, it was important that our festival continue to support the community. It’s a great pleasure to announce that, with the help of great sponsors like Piller’s, Zehrs and Home Hardware, the Onkel Hans Food Drive continued to have a positive impact on our community. We are so proud of Waterloo Region for opening up both their hearts and their wallets for those in our community who need it.”

Typically, the annual festival would collect donations from spectators at the Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade. The 2020 parade was cancelled due to COVID-19, so festival organizers had to reinvent the long-standing community fundraiser.

“Online donations made up some of the difference,” said Beckett. “Some of the support came through 2020 pin sales. A portion of every pin sold this year will help those in our community when they need it most.”

“With many events being cancelled this year due to the pandemic, it has been heartwarming to see the community rally and support Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest and the Onkel Hans Food Drive,” said Wendi Campbell, CEO, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region. “As one of the longest running fundraisers in our community, the Onkel Hans Food Drive will help provide emergency food assistance to more than 33,000 people in Waterloo Region during the pandemic and beyond. Thank you to our long-time partner, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, and the community for your generosity and continued support.”

Donations can still be made online at

Since its inception, the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Onkel Hans Food Drive, presented by Piller’s, has raised more than 1 million meals to The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, which is distributed to 100+ community programs and agency partners providing emergency shelter, food hampers and community meal programs in Waterloo Region.

About Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is Canada’s Greatest Bavarian Festival. The not-for-profit organization was founded in 1969 by a group of volunteers committed to contributing to the social and economic vitality of Kitchener and Waterloo, Canada. Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest annually provides $22.2 million of economic benefit to the community, while not-for-profit organizations associated with the festival raise an additional $1.5 million each year for their cause. Hosted in the twin cities because of the strong German heritage, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest celebrates German food, music, fashion, and more! Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is one of the top three most recognized event brands in Canada. For more information visit

About The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

Founded in 1984, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region (The Food Bank) was the first organization of its kind in Ontario dedicated to providing emergency food. Thirty-five years after incorporation, The Food Bank continues to evolve to meet the needs of the community, ensuring no one goes hungry. As a leader of the Community Food Assistance Network, The Food Bank acquires and distributes more than 5 million pounds of fresh, frozen and non-perishable food to 100+ community programs and agency partners throughout Waterloo Region. The Food Bank is a registered charitable organization. Learn more at:

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For additional information:

Alfred Lowrick                                              Jennifer Judges                                               

Executive Director                                          Communications Specialist

K-W Oktoberfest Inc.                                      The Food Bank of Waterloo Region

519-570-4267 ext. 222                                   519-743-5576 ext. 236                         

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