Canadian Food Truck Festival dishing out donations for SickKids Hospital | CBC News

The Canadian Food Truck Festival is making its second stop of the summer at Toronto’s Woodbine Park, with more than 40 vendors in tow slinging burgers, beaver tails and tacos throughout the holiday weekend.

“There are all sorts of options for absolutely everybody … fan favourites like poutine, wood-fired pizza, all sorts of delicious things,” said organizer Ben Freeman.

Not only can you get all those tasty treats, you can also help to make sure children get the best possible medical care. The festival has a fundraising partnership with Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.

In 2018, more than 150,000 Canadians visited the festival at multiple stops, making the event a prime spot to garner donations.

Since 2014, it has partnered with SickKids Hospital to raise funds for the hospital’s acute-care and cancer wards, along with redevelopment plans. 

“To date, we’ve raised close to $200,000 just asking for donations at the gate,” Freeman said. 

The food truck festival has volunteers roam the grounds on behalf of SickKids to ask for donations. All of the proceeds go to the hospital. 

Freeman said since the early days of the festival, organizers wanted a way to give back to the community. 

He said they settled on the world-renowned pediatric hospital because “this is a place where we can do the greatest good, for the greatest number of people.”

SickKids redevelopment plans

The donations generated by the festival are welcome and appreciated funds, said Katie McHugh, director of community partnerships at SickKids. 

The biggest of the hospital’s needs is dubbed “Project Horizon,” a campus rebuild that will include a new patient support centre, approximately 120 new critical care beds and a new blood and marrow transplant unit.

The campaign aims to raise $1.3-billion for a full renovation slated for 2031. 

“[The funds] will help us bring in the best equipment, the latest technology … [so] when those patients are coming in from all over the Greater Toronto Area, and across Canada, they have the best equipment,” McHugh said. 

McHugh said that while the pediatric hospital is famous around the world, the central buildings are quickly becoming outdated. 

“The building that we have on University Avenue is currently more than 50 years old, in the oldest part. And it’s more than 35 years old in the newest part. As you can imagine, technology has changed greatly.”

The Canadian Food Truck Festival will continue its run through southern Ontario with stops in Pickering and Brampton until Sept 1.

This content was originally published here.

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