Program Creates Support for Food Bank

(The following article "Program Creates Support for Food Bank" was originally featured on October 20 2017 via http://www.estevanmercury.ca.)

Local residents showed support for the Estevan Salvation Army’s Food Bank through Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) Drive Away Hunger program.

FCC was in Estevan on Oct. 10 to gather food and cash that was donated in the Estevan area. A total of 11,825 meals were donated for the food bank this year. One pound of food was equivalent to a meal, and a $1 cash donation equated to three meals.

Schools and businesses were involved with Drive Away Hunger in the Estevan area. Courtney Baumgartner, a relationship management associate with FCC, said that among the schools, Estevan Comprehensive School (ECS) contributed 510 pounds of food and a little more than $100 in cash donations for 814 meals, Lampman School donated 326 pounds of food and Pleasantdale School gave 241 pounds.

Among the businesses, Redhead Equipment collected 585 pounds for the food bank, and MNP donated 255 pounds of food and $2,200 in cash, for a total meal contribution of 6,855.

Baumgartner said FCC did a number of different activities to promote Drive Away Hunger and support the food banks.

“We reached out to a lot more businesses this year, and some did cash donations, and some collected food just throughout their organization with their employees, so this year the response was really good,” said Baumgartner.

As part of Drive Away Hunger, a semi-unit is driven through communities to collect food and cash donations for food banks. During the week of Oct. 10, FCC teams drove tractors through communities in several provinces.

More than 7.2 million meals were collected across the country this year. Saskatchewan contributed more than 839,000 meals.

The social justice club and the junior Quota club at ECS spearheaded the Drive Away Hunger campaign at the school.

ECS teacher Margaret Duncan said the school is contacted by FCC each year to participate in Drive Away Hunger.

“They come around and they pick up all the food from each of the schools, and then they deliver to the local food bank,” said Duncan.

Duncan noted there was a competition between the Period 1 classes at ECS to see who could generate the most meals. Kaitlyn Giesbrecht’s classroom came out on top by generating more than 100 meals.

“That was a huge contributor to our event,” said Duncan.

This is the sixth year that ECS has been involved with Drive Away Hunger. At one time, it was held around the same time of Halloween, and ECS students would go around collecting donations for the food bank. It worked well, she said, but the new date doesn’t allow them to use Halloween as part of their efforts.

But the students still get the knowledge of how important it is to take care of the community.

“It’s making awareness of what the needs are of others, and making sure that we are good citizens,” said Duncan.