This year’s 10,000 Tonight Food Drive almost reached 11,000 cans of collected goods!
Students from Penticton and Princess Margaret secondary schools collected a combined total of 10,822 non-perishable food items, plus cash donations, for The Salvation Army food bank in their annual door-to-door canvass.
Andrea Devito, vice-principal at Penticton Secondary School, said students and organizers are delighted by the response. “One resident gave the canvassers $60 and asked that they go and purchase as much food as possible with the money, which they did,” Devito said. “This in itself was a learning experience, as the students had to try to stretch $60 as far as it could go, which is of course difficult to do.”
Devito said as much as the purpose of 10,000 Tonight is to support those in need in the community, students also benefit. “In the process, they gain a great sense of purpose and generosity, particularly when the food delivery occurs the next day,” she said.
“As an educator, I felt so proud of all of those kids for being so ‘all in’ on a cold, dark winter evening.”
Richelle Brown, a Grade 10 student at Pen-Hi, said this marked the first time she has helped with the food drive.
“It’s just the fact that I could help other people in the community who don’t have as much,” Brown said. “You get a good feeling after you volunteer, so I thought this would be one of those times when you could help someone during the Christmas season.”
Tracie Senger, an education assistant at Pen-Hi, has been helping with the food drive for several years. This year, she was among the crew packing and sorting the incoming donations.
“I like that it’s not only the community of the school, but the community itself that’s all happening together and happening for a really good cause,” she said. “That’s inspiring.”