Hot chocolate festival aims to help needy

Published On February 4, 2014 | By HN Staff | News

By: Tyrrell Meertins

Hot Chocolate is one of many preferred hot beverages during the winter months, and Canadians can now help the less fortunate by sipping on the drink at Canada’s first hot chocolate festival, being held in southern Ontario.

The festival will take place in 12-locations within Southern Ontario. Different vendors pledge for every hot chocolate they sell during the month, and the proceeds go to the Ontario Associations of Food Banks. Fifty cents of every hot chocolate purchased at participating organizations will go to help food banks.

According to Amanda King, Manager and Member of Communications of OAFB, approximately 375,000 people – including 131,000 children – access food banks every month.

OAFB Senior Development Officer, Josh Hacker, believes the hot chocolate festival will prove beneficial to those in need, but also raise awareness of the importance of food banks and services that they provide.

“It helps raise funds for the Ontario Association of Food Banks which helps supports our member organizations across the province, and by doing so we can support more people getting food and resources in all communities across Ontario,” Hacker said.

‘Hot Chocolicious: Canada’s National Hot Chocolate Festival’, is an event that aims to raise money and awareness on the impact food banks have regarding hunger and homelessness.

According to Amanda King, Manager and Member of Communications of OAFB, approximately 375,000 people – including 131,000 children – access food banks every month.

OAFB Senior Development Officer, Josh Hacker, told Humber News the hot chocolate festival will prove beneficial to those in need, but also raise awareness of the importance of food banks and services that they provide.

“It helps raise funds for the Ontario Association of Food Banks which helps supports our member organizations across the province, and by doing so we can support more people getting food and resources in all communities across Ontario,” Hacker said.

The festival was created by JCO communications whose CEO, Joey Cee, told Humber News it’s important to help food banks reach their targeted goals.

“It’s an extension of what we do; food banks need money, and I felt the need to come up with something that would help raise money for food banks across the country,” Cee said.

“A lot of people don’t realize that in different provinces $1 could generate up to $40 that the provincial food banks can purchase, and we’re talking about sustainable foods such as eggs, vegetables and fruits – if we’re going to give people food, let’s give them healthy food,” he said.

Along with aiding the less fortunate, the festival introduced a new ‘Heart, Mind and Soul Initiative’. This is the first event to support this initiative, and it’s designed to support non-cancer related causes such as food banks, mental illness, and homeless shelters.

 Cee’s ultimate goal is to raise as much as money for the food banks as possible, and he’s pushing to receive help from various corporations.

“I want to promote corporate parties – we want companies, associations and different organizations to host hot chocolate days, they serve hot chocolates in their office and all the proceeds go to the food bank,” he said.

The festival runs for the remainder of the month with details online at the Hot Chocolicious website.

“Hot chocolate is generic, and there’s more than chocolate shops that sell it such as cafés and bistros. Valentines Day is in February, and it’s a good time to give to the heart; it just seems like the synergy is right for the festival,” Cee said.

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