While many hockey days were focused on raising funds for local rinks, Carlyle was collecting non-perishable food items to support the local foodbank.

The chairperson for Carlyle and District Food Bank, Theresa Luedtke, said that Carlyle Minor Hockey donates food every year following Minor Hockey Day.  

The total of non-perishable food items brought in was 492, but the cash donations had not yet been counted.  

The food bank in Carlyle has experienced an upswing in patrons in recent years. Luedtke said in the last year there have been around 3000 clients accessing services.  

“Last year our average was 96 hampers a month,” said Luedtke. “And that is an increase from the year before about 17 per cent up.”   

 Luedtke said there is an increase of people calling who have never used a food bank before. She explained that while it is sometimes people who are new to the area, there are also times when it is people who have been in the community for a long time. 

She says she hears phone calls that say, “I’ve never used a food bank before. I’ve lived in this community for X number of years, and I’ve never thought I would have to be the person to come and ask for help."

When the hockey players drop off their donations, they also receive an update as to what’s happening at the food bank.  

“It’s kind of an eye-opener for them to see,” said Luedtke. “The stuff that’s on the shelves is maybe two months' worth of groceries.”  

She said it's also a great way for hockey players to take an interest in helping in their communities. 

The foodbank in Carlyle supports the town itself as well as a 60-mile radius around the area. 

In addition to the donations made from the Minor Hockey Association, the school has also recently put on a food drive bringing in nearly 3000 items.  

“There’s a lot going on at our foodbank, from the community,” said Luedtke. “It’s been very supportive.”