Food Donations Wanted! Atlético Ottawa partners with Lionhearts to tackle food insecurity in Ottawa

Atlético Ottawa has partnered with food rescue company Lionhearts for the upcoming ‘Pay What You Can’ match against Cavalry FC, collecting non-perishable food donations at Gate 1 to benefit their network of community partners, feeding and caring for Ottawa residents in need.

“I’m a massive Atlético Ottawa fan, but I’m an even bigger fan of feeding people in need,” explained Ottawa resident Stephen La Salle, the Executive Chef of Lionhearts. Stephen came to his first Atlético Ottawa match last season and quickly fell in love with the club. “One of the things that drew me to Atlético was this genuine community engagement with their fans and the soccer community, but also with the wider Ottawa community. This year, I saw the jersey reveal and that amazing organic connection with food security in our city and approached the club about doing something together, and they jumped at it.”

We are asking generous supporters to not only bring the usual electric atmosphere to TD Place this weekend but also non-perishable food items such as pasta, pasta sauce, rice, canned goods (soups, stews, beans, fruit, vegetables, fish and meat) as well as other pantry favourites such as cereal, school snacks, peanut butter and jam.

Stephen added: “In Ottawa, one in seven households are food insecure. Our food drive is going to benefit the Lionhearts network of over 70 local community partners, including the Caldwell Family Centre. When it comes to tackling food insecurity, we’re better together.”

Lionhearts Inc. was founded in Kingston, ON, in 2014 before spreading its wings and starting a bread rescue operation in Ottawa in late 2017. The operation in the nation’s capital rapidly expanded and moved into a dedicated food and goods redistribution facility last year from generous donors including Levy, TD Place’s partnered sports and entertainment hospitality provider.

Atlético Ottawa’s ‘Pay What You Can’ match is presented by the Atleti Equal Access program which aims to promote accessibility and inclusion in the game of soccer in Ottawa by addressing barriers, especially those faced by underrepresented groups. This initiative seeks to provide affordable access to soccer culture, professional soccer matches and supporting programs that increase access to enjoying and playing the beautiful game.

For more information on Atleti Equal Access and to see our previous work to increase participation in soccer at all levels, please click here.