'The needs are incredible': QCX donut eating contest raises over $60K for Regina Food Bank

The Queen City Ex (QCX) was host to a mini donut eating contest Friday evening at the Brandt Centre. The showdown saw professional eater Joey Chestnut put away 255 mini donuts in 8 minutes.

The event was for the benefit of the Regina Food Bank. Competitors needed to raise at least $1,000 to take part in competing against the major league eater.

The atmosphere during the competition was on par according to Chestnut, allowing him to put in a record setting performance.

“It felt great, audience was yelling a little bit and pushing me,” he told CTV News.

“Competitors were eating, nobody really gave up, and I did like 255 so I’m pretty happy with that.”

As for the fundraising aspect of the event, Chestnut said he was happy to be a part of supporting the cause.

“The cause is beautiful, being able to raise money for the food bank. Every dollar they raised is able to provide three meals. I think they are able to provide 180,000 meals, so it’s awesome,” he said.

“It’s great to be a part of it, and it’s great to see the community come together.”

All told, the competition fundraised approximately $62,000 for the Regina Food Bank. Funding that is needed now more than ever.

“The needs are incredible,” John Bailey, CEO of the Regina Food Bank explained.

“It starts to sound like a broken record but when you look at the growth we saw during the sort of height of lockdown and then through to today, we’re seeing even eight to 10 per cent higher than we did last year.”

Given the increased need, Bailey believes the event was a success by every definition.

“It is an incredible amount of money and an incredible amount of meals,” he said.

“So when you think about us doing in the neighbourhood of 1,200 meals a day that will keep us in food for the next couple months here, and gives us the breathing room we need to make sure that we can continue meeting the needs for our community.”

As for the tasty treats at the center of the contest, Chestnut was pleasantly surprised by how delicious the competition food was.

“It was one of the tastier contests I’ve had in a while,” he chuckled.