After a successful run last year filling up a mini-bus and raising 250 dollars for the local food bank, École Notre Dame High School is bringing Hungry For the Homeless back again this year from October 11th to 14th.
The school will be accepting Food Bank Donations from the public throughout the week. Donation bins will be set up at local stores as well. On the Friday, all the Grade 10 students will be outside the school from 3:30 to 8 with signs raising awareness of homelessness in Bonnyville and of course accepting more donations. Pauline Mawer from the Friendship Centre and a representative from the Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Centre will be there to give presentations to the students as well.
Teacher Siobhan Winterhalt says that this year they decided to hold the event a little earlier right after Thanksgiving. “After we have this entire weekend where we’re celebrating what we’re thankful for, where we have a lot of food this might be a push for some people. “You know what? I just celebrated my abundance. Now, what can I do for other people who are struggling?””
In addition to fundraising, the campaign is also aimed at giving students an opportunity to reflect on the things they take for granted others might not have. Students have to be out in the cold for the whole time on Friday. “We’re not even letting them go in the gym for a warmup during these presentations,” Winterhalt adds. “The beauty is that they know that they’re going to be done in four and a half hours. Of course, when we do the reflection we’re like, “Some people don’t have that guarantee.””
The effects of the oil crash in Alberta have caused poverty to show itself in some rather unorthodox ways. Winterhalt says students also do some work with food banks in Edmonton and while she was there, workers said people would come up in new Buick’s to get their food. “It’s because they were able to pay for it then. Now they have no income and they can’t even pay for basic needs like food.”