With food inflation on the rise, homelessness has posed as a greater threat. The needs of hurting people beckon us to lend a helping hand. Our hearts bled with compassion this past month as many surrounded in the community looked beyond our own struggles and banded together with the We Scare Hunger campaign presented by the R.D. Parker Collegiate High School and Westwood School.
Within the entirety of October the high school Students Offering Support (SOS) and Hands Heart and Hope (H3) program were taken on the responsibility of putting forth this campaign, pulling people of all over who are willing to donate non perishable goods and groceries.
The students decided together what the greatest need may be, and agreed to give the collected food to the Thompson Seniors Counsel, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO), and Mary Mound Community pantry where they gathered over 100 filled bags containing 2,000 pounds of food.
Though even with an astounding number such as that, social studies teacher Teresa Jenkins explained that the current market hurt the donating that was received, saying that outcome was small in comparison to previous years;
“We felt that we had lower donations this year. But I think it’s because a lot more people this year are feeling the crunch of the economy” Stated Jenkins, “ Even though it’s unfortunate, I think it’s a reflection of what we’re going through economically. Even with that though we still had lots of contributing and many were struggling but still gave for the needed cause”
For years R.D. Parker donated to the Salvation Army while it was still in operation to such an extent that they found themselves heavily relying on the annual food donations. Some years brought in over 10,000 pounds of food filling their community pantries and food stores significantly for the year.
This annual charity has reached over 10 years of running this supporting cause, originally started by two brothers under WE Charity organization, back when R.D. Parker was labelled a WE Charity school. Though the school is no longer affiliated under that association certain traditions simply needed to live on.
“We still think helping one another in the community are important” Says Jenkins, “And we would just like to thank the community for supporting the We Scare Hunger Campaign, we really appreciate the parents and students support”
With another successful turn out R.D. Parker plans on running another food drive this coming April as the students aim to bring attention to the issues of hunger in our society and take action.
~Matthias J. Johnson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Thompson Citizen. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.