Students at St. Joseph’s high school in Saskatoon, hit the streets on Halloween, but they weren’t filling pillowcases with candy.
They were out collecting food donations for their 13th annual Halloweening for Hunger food drive.
Teacher supervisor for the Always Consider Tomorrow group (ACT), Rachelle Kelln, has been part of the fundraiser since the beginning and can’t believe how much it has grown in 13 years.
“We were excited at the 125 to 200 pound mark when we started,” she said.
“And I have seen it grow from that 150 to 200 pound mark to, ‘we’ll see,’ but last year was 24,635 pounds, so I have seen it grow exponentially.”
Their goal for this year is to hit 27,000 pounds. They won’t know if they reach that mark until later today but just by looking at the pile of food in the school’s foyer, she believes they will reach their goal.
“I’m in awe of this pile. It’s bigger [than last year], and my back tells me it’s bigger,” said Kelln.
“I think I have a bit of a reputation for setting lofty goals and what’s amazing is our community meets us every year. And they step up and over and over they just give, and give, and give.”
Kelln says she is “the proudest teacher there is” seeing how many students give up their Halloween nights to go out and collect food for the drive.
“Last year there was about 280 kids, this year we had 358 go out, it’s amazing. It has momentum and the kids are empowered by it and they’re proud,” she said.
“I believe that the students fundamentally get the sense that they are making a difference. They understand when they see this pile and when we speak to the people from the food bank that we are affecting change in this city.”
The pile of food got loaded into crates and put on the back of trucks to be taken to the Saskatoon Food Bank where it was weighed.
The grand total came to 22, 551 pounds of food for the food bank.