HUMBOLDT — Local schools and businesses have once again done their part to help food insecurity in Humboldt.
The FCC Drive Away Hunger food collection drive collected a record number of donations going to the Humboldt and District Food Bank during this year’s campaign.
Much of that has to do with a record number of collections made by all three Humboldt elementary schools.
Oct. 10 was a big day for the FCC Humboldt office as they collected both money and food donations totalling over 12,000 meals for the food bank; with a pound of food measured as one meal and one dollar measuring as three meals. Donation collection is still going on as of Oct. 14, with Muenster School also contributing to the drive, but FCC Humboldt said they are well on their way to beating previous totals.
In 2017, the drive collected 13,357 meals, and in 2018 it was 16,867.
St. Augustine teacher Melissa Stockbrugger-Knaus saw her own Grade 7 classroom tied for the classroom that collected the most much-needed items for the food bank. She said campaigns like FCC’s Drive Away Hunger is another way that students can discuss the needs of others.
“We talk about it a lot in our classrooms, it’s part of our curriculum, so this is an awesome opportunity for kids to practice what we preach. That we want to make a difference.”
The students take in that message, Stockbrugger-Knaus said, and they know the purpose of the food bank and know the impact they can have by giving for things like Drive Away Hunger.
St. Augustine, like all the other schools, broke their own school record for most items brought in for the drive, and Stockbrugger-Knaus said St. Augustine kids take a lot of pride in what they bring in and how their classroom does during the classroom competition.
And the food bank appreciates everyone's increased efforts, said Kevin Reiter of the Humboldt and District Food Bank, especially since the need for food assistance has not changed.
Around 90-110 families in the Humboldt area need the food bank each month, with around a third of those in need being under the age of 18.
With all the donations collected from Drive Away Hunger, Reiter said they will be able to stock hampers for the next five to six months on these donations alone. With Christmas coming up, Reiter expects even more donations in the coming months.
Across Canada, over four million Canadians, both working and unemployed face the challenge of feeding themselves and their families, according to Food Banks Canada.