Students at Maple Ridge Secondary School (MRSS) will be helping out the local food bank after raising thousands in cash and non-perishable donations at their annual food drive.
About 35 students took part in the Annual MRSS Drive-Thru Food Drive for the Friends In Need Food Bank on Thursday, Dec. 9, raising $2,156.10 and collecting 1,405 food items – in just a little more than an hour before school.
The food drive was started more than 10 years ago by the then geography teacher Michelle Ostrowski and her students. Now the drive is run by the school’s student council.
“I think when Michelle started it that many years ago, you didn’t hear about drive-through things,” explained Maria Trudeau, organizer and marketing and work experience teacher at the school.
“She created that idea because she wanted to get parents who were dropping their kids off and even the community involved. So it was a way to get the parent body and the local community involved, so they could just pull up and drop off their kid, or if they were just driving by, and just drop something off,” she said.
Every year students have to choose what activities they want to participate in for school spirit. For student council they always choose two things to help the school and the community.
Trudeau can’t believe how much food they collected in such a short period of time.
“That’s insane,” she said, adding that they pre-ordered 30 boxes from the food bank to put their donations into.
Some of the students told her that she ordered too many, that they only filled up 10 boxes last year.
“We had so much more (food) we had to go through the hallways of the school to find empty boxes because we had way more than 30 boxes,” Trudeau noted.
And, she remarked, what made the drive-through so successful was that the student council put in hours and hours in spreading the word – going to classes, talking to teachers, putting stuff on social media.
“Really the big thing is, constantly reminding students in the school and teachers in the school because they bring a majority of the items. So, telling them that the food bank actually really benefits from a cash donation as opposed to food,” Trudeau said, adding this helped them collect a record number of monetary donations.
“I’ve never seen that amount of money ever collected for the food drive,” said Trudeau. “It was very exciting, very motivating for student council.”
Trudeau added lightheartedly that they set such a high bar this year, next year’s student council will have to work even harder to try and raise funds.
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