The partnership is a $1 million commitment by Kraft Heinz Canada over the next four years
TORONTO, CANADA – June 11, 2021 – Kraft Heinz Canada announced today a partnership with the Hockey Diversity Alliance (HDA) to help support the eradication of systemic racism in hockey through grassroots programming designed to diminish barriers and encourage participation in one of Canada’s national sports.
The partnership represents an extension of Kraft Heinz Canada’s long legacy in supporting community hockey through its Kraft Hockeyville program, which has awarded $4.1 million to 89 communities across Canada and has celebrated 13 NHL® preseason games in eight different provinces. The program’s success has been driven by its ability to fuel the passion of hockey communities across the country, on and off the ice.
As a foundational partner of the HDA, Kraft Heinz Canada is committing $1 million over the next four years to connect underrepresented communities with ball hockey equipment to encourage participation among young Canadians who may not otherwise have the opportunity to play. A love for the game often starts before players hit the ice, and ball hockey is an effective way to help young Canadians connect with hockey. By making sports more accessible for everyone, we can strengthen our connection to each other, to our communities, and to fans of the game.
“At Kraft Heinz Canada, one of our core values is We Demand Diversity, so this partnership makes perfect sense in that it will help make hockey a more inclusive game,” says Bruno Keller, President, Kraft Heinz Canada. “While hockey is often a means of bringing Canadians together, there are significant barriers preventing participation. Our partnership with the Hockey Diversity Alliance will help break down those barriers and increase access to, and encourage participation in, Canada’s national sport.”
The Hockey Diversity Alliance, which was formed on June 8, 2020, is composed of current and former NHL players of colour. The HDA’s mission is to grow the game and provide education to help eradicate systemic racism and increase the share of Black, Indigenous and people of colour playing at all levels of hockey in Canada.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with Kraft Heinz Canada to help continue the great momentum the HDA has built over the last year,” says Akim Aliu, Founder of the HDA. “With their support, we will be able to connect young, competitive children with the grassroots programs they need to participate in the game of hockey. Together, we are helping create a new generation of players and fans.”
The goal of the HDA’s community programming is to help families with young players mitigate the financial barriers to hockey, while also helping to create a unified and safe space for young players of colour to have fun learning and playing hockey.
For more information on the Hockey Diversity Alliance, and to donate to their cause, please visit hockeydiversityalliance.org.
Kraft Heinz Canada is the country's largest food and beverage company and is a subsidiary of Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ: KHC). Kraft Heinz Canada provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. Kraft Heinz Canada products are found in more than 97 per cent of Canadian households. The Company's iconic brands include Kraft Peanut Butter and KD. Kraft Heinz Canada is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, please visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com.
The Hockey Diversity Alliance was formed by NHL players of colour to create a platform to end racism and intolerance in hockey. Both inspired and shocked by actions across North America in the wake of the death of George Floyd in 2020, and drawing on their own experience, these players quickly determined they could mobilize and draw attention and resources to help resolve the racism and intolerance they – and countless others – have faced throughout their lives and careers.