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Trojans deliver massive haul to Food Bank

West Ferris students gathered thousands of pounds of non-perishables

This past Wednesday evening, West Ferris students hit the streets, knocking on doors and asking for non-perishable food for the North Bay Food Bank. Their labours were fruitful, as they collected a massive haul of donations from their neighbours – just over 13,000 pounds.

Put simply, “it’s a blessing,” said Debbie Marson, the executive director of the North Bay Food Bank. “We’re overwhelmed with gratitude because we’re seeing an increase in need for services.”

Indeed, the kids are alright. This is the 16th year the school has held its Thanksgiving Food Drive this year, there well over 100 students volunteered to collect the food.

“It was an awesome night,” said Mark Robertson, a teacher at the school. “The West Ferris community was so supportive. Our student and staff volunteers worked like a well-oiled machine. It felt great to have fun while working together for a worthy cause.”

The donation is much appreciated, Marson emphasized, and next week, there will be more coming, as Scollard Hall is doing their own food drive. There are other events as well this fall. September to December are the halcyon months for most food banks, and January February and March are usually the driest.

Keep that in mind if you’re starting a new food drive, because the food bank requires food throughout the year – now more than ever.

See: Report: First-time food bank use sees massive spike in Ontario

“We’re up to 85 new households registered this year,” Marson noted, and with many facing tough financial times, donations tend to dip, which is why a donation from West Ferris is so appreciated. “People are so stretched, but a food drive like this really relieves a little bit of that.”

Last year, Trojans collected around 10,000 pounds of food, so this year’s haul smashed that number. It’s a lot of food – “it looks immense” – Marson said, and now her and her volunteers and staff will keep busy organizing the food. First, they will check all the expiry dates, then organize the food into baskets.

It’s important to note that when giving food, make sure it’s not expired. If it is, that’s not much of a gift. Marson knows that people mean well, but when you see that can of baby corn at the back of your cupboard, double check the date before giving it away.

Thirty households in three hours four times a week is the pace of delivery at the food bank. Food goes fast, so when a few tonnes come in, it’s worthy of celebration. But it won’t last long because hunger is rising in this Northern town.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

About the Author: David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering civic and diversity issues for BayToday. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
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