Student-led food drives help Port Alberni’s food bank fill its shelves

Students and staff from Maquinna Elementary School in Port Alberni fill a truck with more than 1,100 items that were donated to the Salvation Army to help families in the community. (PHOTO COURTESY MAQUINNA ELEMENTARY)Students and staff from Maquinna Elementary School in Port Alberni fill a truck with more than 1,100 items that were donated to the Salvation Army to help families in the community. (PHOTO COURTESY MAQUINNA ELEMENTARY)
Students from John Howitt Elementary School’s leadership team fill a vehicle full of food to donate to the Bread of Life. (PHOTO COURTESY JOHN HOWITT SCHOOL)Students from John Howitt Elementary School’s leadership team fill a vehicle full of food to donate to the Bread of Life. (PHOTO COURTESY JOHN HOWITT SCHOOL)

A pair of elementary schools in School District 70 (Alberni-Pacific Rim) have been busy collecting items to help make the holiday season a bit brighter for members of their community.

The upper intermediate students and staff from Maquinna Elementary School, along with the Kindergarten class, held a food drive at their school. Last week they donated 1,115 items to the Salvation Army, to assist Alberni Valley communities.

Maquinna has conducted food drives in the past “but not to this extent,” vice-principal Julie Dawson said. Restrictions due to COVID-19 further complicated things in 2020 and the beginning of 2021. “The (food collection) idea came from one of the other teachers.”

The older students started collecting food in mid-November. On Dec. 10 kids from the four classes with Grades 6-7 students helped pack the Salvation Army’s cube van, to take the food items to the community food bank.

“Hopefully it becomes a tradition,” Dawson said.

At John Howitt Elementary, the school’s student leadership team collected food donations and brought them to the Bread of Life. The leadership team comprises Jailyn Little, Olivia Booth, Amara Darling, Layla Griffith, Sydney Roberts, Taylor Parcher and Mackenzie Alarie.

The class that collected the most food received a cupcake party. Teachers from John Howitt also compiled a lip sync video of themselves “singing” Christmas songs. Elizabeth Platz put the video together and posted it on YouTube.

These are some of many initiatives classes have taken to ensure Alberni Valley and west coast community members are warm and fed (and in some cases entertained) this month.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

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Charity and DonationsFood BankPort Alberni