Five Hole For Food: A National Pastime Becomes “A Vehicle for Social Change”

Sports bring people together like almost nothing else. When the Olympics roll around every four years, that spirit is even more infectious as athletes are representing their country at the pinnacle of competition.

In 2010, the Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The main draw was the national ice hockey teams, as hockey is the de jure (established by law) national winter sport of Canada. After both the men and women won the gold and showed that the home ice advantage was more of a gift than a burden, national pride was at an all-time high from coast-to-coast and resulted in a brilliant idea that became a movement for social change.

A few Vancouver hockey fans realized that the sport they loved could be “a vehicle for social change”, specifically to raise donations and awareness for Canada’s food banks during a difficult time as the need was great but donations were not. Currently, Five Hole For Food (FHFF) is on its sixth tour across the country, stopping in major cities including Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Edmonton. Calgary, and Vancouver, where the call to action is: Will you play hockey for food? Each year, Vancouver mayor and long-time FHFF supporter Gregor Robertson challenges other cities’ mayors to a competition of who can raise the most donations for their local food banks during the tour.

FHFF has raised more than 1 million pounds of food for food banks across Canada. To join in the movement, all one needs to bring is a hockey stick and a can of food. If not in Canada, you can follow the movement and the current tour at their website (, on their FaceBook page (Five Hole For Food) or on Twitter (@fiveholeforfood, #FHFF) to learn more.

When this story came up on social media last week, it brought me back to the Ball4Hunger (basketball) and Kicking4Hunger (soccer) clinics that Athletes C.A.R.E. holds each year at Lafayette College, where local kids bring a canned food items to participate in a skills camp with varsity team members. As we try to expand to other colleges and universities around the country, we hope that our small ideas can lead to greater awareness for the needs of the hungry and homeless like FHFF has garnered for its mission of playing hockey for donations to local food banks in Canada. “FHFF is out to prove that a generation hungry for change, an engaged corporate community, and a national pastime is the perfect formula for changing the face of fundraising,” as seen in this short promotion video titled “Made From Canada”.