KITCHENER -- A fundraising partnership between Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest and the Food Bank of Waterloo Region has raised enough money for 50,000 meals during the 2020 festival.

In total, they raised $16,831, which represents more than 50,000 meals.

“Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when so many of our regular events were not able to happen, it was important that our festival continue to support the community," Oktoberfest President Tim Beckett said in a news release.

The festival would usually collect donations at the Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Parade. But, because the parade was cancelled due to COVID-19, donations moved online. A portion of pins sold this year also went towards the fundraiser.

“With many events being cancelled this year due to the pandemic, it has been heartwarming to see the community rally and support Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest and the Onkel Hans Food Drive,” said Wendi Campbell, CEO, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, in the news release. “As one of the longest running fundraisers in our community, the Onkel Hans Food Drive will help provide emergency food assistance to more than 33,000 people in Waterloo Region during the pandemic and beyond. Thank you to our long-time partner, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, and the community for your generosity and continued support.”