Shooting pucks to feed the hungry

SFU student Richard Loat, who started the biggest road hockey tournament in Canada, hopes to raise 250,000 pounds of food for food banks across the country

Will you play hockey for food? Canadians from Victoria to St. John's are going to have a chance to score a goal for their local food banks next month during the fourth annual Five Hole for Food campaign.

The biggest road hockey tournament of the year offers everyone a chance to play in a road hockey tournament in exchange for donations to local food banks. Last year, the campaign raised 133,000 pounds of food, and this year another 250,000 pounds of food is expected to be gathered for food banks across the country.

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SFU student Richard Loat started Five Hole For Food in 2010 after he saw the success of public road hockey tournaments during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

"We're trying to build a social movement that is really tapping into the passion that Canadians have for the sport of hockey, and using that as a vehicle for social change, not just in our hometown of Vancouver, but across Canada," he said.

After putting the word out online to start the first tour, Loat managed to round up a team of like-minded fellow bloggers and hockey fanatics across the country who were keen to support the cause. Since then, the campaign has continued to expand each year.

Next month, the campaign will kick off its 13-city tour on July 3 in St. John's, N.L. and end up in Vancouver on July 20, when it will shut down Granville Street for the afternoon.

Loat says everyone is welcome to play and all ages and skills levels are encouraged to participate.

"On July 20, when we shut down Granville Street, we encourage anyone and everyone from . the Lower Mainland to bring their hockey stick and contribution to the food bank and come out and join us," he said.

Games will be played from noon to 6 p.m. For more information about the campaign or the tournament downtown, visit www.fiveholeforfood.com.

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