Annual student food drive tackles December hunger

Belmont’s 10,000 Tonight a boon for food bank

Student organizer Ravina Parmar helps sort through the thousands of donated items during Belmont Secondary's annual '10

The eighth annual “10,000 Tonight” food drive put on by the students at Belmont secondary was so successful this year, it nearly doubled its goal.

Held last Wednesday, the drive brought in over 18,000 food items to support the West Shore Christmas Hamper Fund, a windfall that will see the Goldstream Food Bank’s shelves stocked for the holiday.

“We went from empty shelves to full shelves,” said Susan Still, one of the organizers for the hamper fund. “That will probably help carry us into February.”

“We were really happy with the outcome,” said Ravina Parmar, who co-organized the event with fellow Belmont senior Amelia Jolie. “It went pretty smoothly. We had a lot of drivers and volunteers.”

“These kids helped 750 families for the month of December, which is extraordinary,” said Still. “They organized everything from parents driving to getting kids going around door to door. The energy was so positive and ecstatic. They’re so proud of themselves, and they should be. These kids and our community are just fabulous.”

The hamper fund supports about 1,000 people every month, with a third of those youth 16 and under. Volunteers are always needed, added Parmar, especially to sort and organize the donations. “They really need people. I’ve been trying to go as often as I can.”

For those short on time, cash is always welcome, but so are donations of the “treats” that the food bank can’t afford.

“Kids’ snacks, canned fruit, coffee,” listed Still. “Fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. Any of the toiletries. Those aren’t items that we purchase, so they’re always a treat for any time of year.”

For more information or to donate, call the food bank at 250-474-4443, or drop off donations between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 761 Station Ave., in the basement of the Royal Canadian Legion.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com