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50/50 Food Drive

Joey Butkevich and Desiree Rai work at the campus food bank where traffic has been steady. Students from Nipissing University and Canadore College are busy preparing for the '50/50 Food Drive' blitz that kicks off today.

Joey Butkevich and Desiree Rai work at the campus food bank where traffic has been steady.

Students from Nipissing University and Canadore College are busy preparing for the '50/50 Food Drive' blitz that kicks off today.

The school representative councils, NUSU and CSRC, have partnered with the North Bay Food Bank and the City of North Bay to conduct the food drive blitz November 22nd, 23rd and 24th. What makes this drive special is that the food gathered will be divided evenly between the Nipissing University/Canadore College food bank and the North Bay food bank.

Food drive representative for NUSU, Joey Butkevich, says the cupboard is bare and there is a definite need to replenish the student food bank shelves. At the same time there is an opportunity for the schools to help the community. Butkevich explains that a number of students adopt North Bay as their home year round, not just the 8-months school year. Therefore, the drive is a way of saying thank you.

“We are trying to give back to the city as it embraces us and we want to give back,” he states.

Desiree Rai, a campus food bank volunteer, said the Frosh Week door to door food drive filled the shelves, but the stock has dwindled since the beginning of classes.

“We now have a steady flow of people,” she says.

“It doesn’t take much time to make that evaporate.”

Butkevich also adds that coming to the end of the semester money is tight because students don't get the next instalment of OSAP until their return to school in January.

“A lot of people rely on this (food bank) over the Christmas break,” he says.

“With the tuition rise it isn’t feasible for the students to go out and get what is needed for a Christmas dinner.”

Students volunteer their time to gather food and run the campus food bank in order to support each other in making it through the school year.

“Even though it’s exam time, students are still donating time,” says Butkevich.

“They’re giving an hour here, half hour … whatever they can.”

Students will be outside Sobey's, Dollars Independent and No Frills on McKeown between 4pm and 6pm today and Thursday collecting non-perishable food items and will be accepting cash donations as well. They will wrap up the drive Friday, with a city-wide door to door blitz.

The students aim to gather as much food as possible in order to offer individuals with dire financial constraints an opportunity to enjoy the Christmas season.

Butkevich also hopes the drive will be a yearly event.



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