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Local food bank receives $2,500 thanks to Maple Ridge Secondary students

Winners of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative grant give to Friends in Need food bank
Maple Ridge Secondary’s Ethan Choo presented the grant cheque to Evan Seal, general manager for the food bank. (Friends in Need Food bank/Special to The News)

The Friends in Need food bank in Maple Ridge received a $2,500 cheque from the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) grant winners from Maple Ridge Secondary.

Executive director for the food bank, Mary Robson, was extremely happy about the win and told The News that the fact that they won was “absolutely delightful”.

“It always thrills me to work with kids and teach them about food banking. It is an industry we would love to see go away but with the way things are, unfortunately it is needed right now,” she said.

Each year, the YPI contest has students research a local charity and present on why their chosen one should receive the money. According to the YPI website, it is an award-winning secondary school program that connects youth to social issues, local charities and philanthropy.

This year, the students of Maple Ridge Secondary, Ethan Choo, Ian MacPhail and Genji Hirano made a video on the food bank -

This video presentation helped the trio win the grant, which they then presented to the food bank.

“We are very proud of the students. This contest has given students a chance to really appreciate the program,” said Robson, adding that the $2,500 raised through the grant, will be put towards the school meal snack program which provides healthy snacks to over 3,000 students on a weekly basis. These students aren’t just the ones in the school districts but also those in learning programs, alternate education programs, etc., she said.

The food bank, which had been operating on a skeleton crew due to the pandemic, is now slowly going back to its regular strength. They are also seeing a gradual rise in the number of people using the food bank. The organization’s donations drives have however suffered due to the pandemic and this grant is a welcome addition to the food bank’s efforts.

ALSO READ: Maple Ridge teaching garden is funded for another year with generous donation

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Priyanka Ketkar

About the Author: Priyanka Ketkar

Priyanka Ketkar has been a journalist since 2011 with extensive experience in community-driven news writing, feature writing, and editing.
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