Members of the ADSS junior leadership team are coordinating the 2020 Christmas drive as a school-only affair until Dec. 16. (PHOTO COURTESY MIKE ROBERTS, ADSS)

Members of the ADSS junior leadership team are coordinating the 2020 Christmas drive as a school-only affair until Dec. 16. (PHOTO COURTESY MIKE ROBERTS, ADSS)

Students at ADSS get creative for annual food drive

Annual door-to-door food collection was cancelled due to COVID-19

The annual food drive at Alberni District Secondary School looks a little different this year.

For the first time in a number of years, the ADSS Athletic Department’s annual door-to-door collection of food donations did not happen the first week of December. There were a number of factors contributing to the cancellation this year, teacher Mike Roberts said—the coronavirus pandemic being the overarching reason.

“The decision (to cancel) was easy, because back in March we took the insurance off of our team buses to save our Athletic Dept. some money when BC School Sports cancelled the remainder of the spring seasons of play,” he said. Since school teams were not permitted to start up again in September, the buses only have storage insurance and were not put back on the road.

The buses are used to transport students as they collect food donations around the community during the annual food drive.

Students weren’t able to ask the public to come to them this year either. “There is no public participation as they are not permitted into our school,” Roberts said.

That means the leadership class is having to work extra hard to collect non-perishable food items, toys and winter clothing. “My leadership class has done the food drive for 15 years now,” teacher Mike Roberts said. “It is always interesting to watch each new class try to top the previous class efforts. Ultimately it is a school wide effort, but the leadership class puts on the event and promotes or markets it.”

Usually Roberts has two leadership classes—junior and senior—working on the campaign, but this year the class organization is different. “This would typically be a senior leadership event but because of the quarter system at school this year, I do not currently have seniors,” he said. “The (junior leadership) class is focused and working hard though, I am sure we will have the bin full.”

As of Friday, Dec. 11, donation bags and boxes were spilling into two spots in the high school’s foyer.

“With so many people in need and many of our citizens on the street we decided to try to gather some warm clothing too or perhaps promote and gather more than usual,” Robert said. “We have done this periodically in the past.”

He encourages any members of the public to help out the food bank on their own this year.

Financial donations can be made to any Salvation Army kettle, online at, or non-perishable items may be dropped off at the Salvation Army, Argyle Street and Fourth Avenue, during regular operating hours, Captain Michael Ramsay said. Food donation bins are also available at Buy-Low Foods, Quality Foods and Save-On-Foods if people would like to purchase additional items for donation when the are grocery shopping.

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