Seaway DHS students help in Food Drive

Seaway District High School student volunteers, (l-r), Katie Wilson, Brooklyn Hitsman, Amber Martel and Sara Breckenridge, join Jim Wilson (centre), chair of Community Food Share, outside Foodland, Iroquois, as part of a community food drive on Friday, October 22. Absent from the photo is volunteer Emily Vreman. (The Leader/Gibb photo)

IROQUOIS – “These students are really positive, and they have definitely put out a lot of extra effort for our Food Drive,” said Jim Wilson, chair of Community Food Share.

He joined the five young volunteers from Seaway District High School on Friday, October 22, outside Foodland, Iroquois, where they had set up a table for food donations, the purchase of pre-made food bags and for monetary donations. Shoppers were dropping by to support this community initiative.

The students, all volunteers, already organized an in-school food drive which has taken place over the last two weeks at Seaway, and will finish on October 29th. Despite cool temperatures, they were manning the donation table in Iroquois until 8 p.m. in support of Community Food Share.

“Events like this one, outside Foodland, generate talk and discussion and keep the issue of food insecurity out there in front of people,” Jim Wilson explained.

“And I also think volunteer groups like Community Food Share need to connect with young people like these students. We hope to see more of them continuing to get involved with such community efforts. It’s good for everyone. And we are really hoping for a number of good drives in the community from now until Christmas.”

Food drives like this are becoming more and more necessary in these difficult months.

“We are seeing as much as a 20 to 30 percent increase in our numbers of people in need locally,” Jim Wilson said. “CERB and government supplements during the pandemic helped some, and the program funding school lunches, a program which did not happen last year due to COVID, was donated to us. With that funding, we were able to start up a snack program which ran all summer. But a lot of the support programs are ending now, and we have clients who are turning to us due to food insecurity.”

Wilson feels that families should never have to choose to cut back on basic foods in order to meet other living expenses.

“And we offer our clients dairy and fresh fruits and vegetables at Community Food Share to ensure people get a balanced diet.”

With the Christmas season fast approaching, there is an on-going need for volunteers like the Seaway DHS students, and for more food drives to combat food insecurity.

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