Upcoming Ottawa Food Truck Rally, a neighbourhood affair, exceeds its goal to support community

OTTAWA, Sept. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - On September 28th, in the heart of Little Italy, a parade of food trucks will pull up to the corner of Pamilla and Rochester and park their kitchens on wheels for a good cause. The first annual Ottawa Food Truck Rally will give the people of Ottawa with curious palates the chance to taste the best our local food trucks have to offer in one location, for one afternoon. The Rally kicks off at noon and runs until 4:00 p.m.

More than just combining the smells and flavours of Ottawa's mobile culinary scene, the event rallies community partners - the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation, Domicile and a local BMO branch - in a collaborative and innovative effort to better the lives of the community around them.

Money raised from the Ottawa Food Truck Rally will go to fund a first-time scholarship that covers the cost of tuition, fees and equipment for an Ottawa Community Housing tenant to attend Algonquin College's culinary arts program for one year.

Wendy Mitchell is Executive Director of the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation. "This is a chance for the people of this city to come together, and, yes, try some excellent food, but also make a difference in the life of an individual, in the life of a community," says Mitchell.

Despite having been founded only 18 months ago, the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation is already making significant and long-lasting impacts in the lives of those living in OCH communities. And this event is no exception.

It did not take long for word to spread around town of this opportunity to support an OCH tenant. BMO Bank of Montreal will match the initial scholarship support of $5000, allowing the Ottawa Food Truck Rally to announce that two scholarships will be funded as result of the event. "Having a positive impact on our communities is one of BMO's core values," said Christine Kirkwood, Richmond Road Branch Manager, BMO Bank of Montreal. "I can't think of a better way to make a lasting difference in somebody's life than to fund a scholarship that will help lay the foundation for future success." The BMO branches are also sharing the time and skills of some staff members. BMO staff are supporting the financial logistics involved in organizing an event of this magnitude. "When we heard about this opportunity to invest in the community, we jumped on board," said Omar Abouzaher, Wellington & Holland Branch Manager, BMO Bank of Montreal. "BMO has a long and proud history of volunteerism and it was quite natural for our employees to want to get involved."

Sharif Virani is the founder of the Ottawa Food Truck Rally. "The idea of a rally to showcase the creativity and dedication of local food trucks was born many months ago, but the engine really didn't start revving on the community angle until we were able to sit down with local community groups and businesses," says Virani. "It really is our civic duty to build capacity within our communities and the end goal of the Rally is to inspire two young individuals and help them realize their potential to try and succeed at doing something special in Ottawa."

Domicile is providing the space for the Rally. "For us, the Rally is about celebrating all the elements of community that allow neighbourhoods to thrive," says John Doran, President of the boutique condo development company. The corner of Pamilla and Rochester streets is the future home of their Nuovo development, which launches this fall. "Building in urban neighbourhoods, as we do, should go beyond the design and beyond the construction," says Doran. "For us, it is about forging relationships so we can play a positive role in the communities that welcome us."

Keeping in the spirit of supporting local, Kichesippi Beer Company, the Clocktower Brew Pub, Hoity Toity Cellars and Harvey & Vern's will all be on-site to manage the thirst that comes with the territory of trying new flavours and recipes.

Participating food trucks include: Think Lunch; Mr. Churritos; Urban Cowboy; The Grilled Cheeserie; The Merry Dairy; Olive Green; Angry Dragonz; Chow Down; Bytown Bayou; and Red Roaster.

Admission is $10 - kids under 12 enter free. Tasting plates vary in price.

SOURCE: OCH Foundation for Healthy Communities

For further information:

For media inquiries and interview requests contact the Ottawa Food Truck Rally organizers via email at inquiries@ottawafoodtruckrally.com or call Elizabeth Gray-Smith at 613-799-8552.

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