The Royal Bay Secondary School community came together in full force Wednesday night (Nov. 30) as the school’s annual 10,000 Tonight food drive returned on its quest to help end hunger on the West Shore.
The school’s atrium was packed with students, staff, and family volunteers just before the event got underway at 5 p.m. as everyone rushed to get registered and receive their instructions. It was a chaotic scene, but a welcome one for Grade 12 leadership student Olivia Sjerven, as it meant the night had returned to its pre-pandemic glory.
“The last two years we had to do a sort of drive-thru event spread out over a two-week span instead of a one-night thing, so I am really excited to get back to the main event,” said Sjerven. “It’s really cool. The last time we were able to do it like this I was in Grade 9, and it was one of the highlights of the year for me and I have been looking forward to getting it back up and running, especially in my last year being here.”
In addition to collecting donations dropped off at the school, students and parents were out in the community going door-to-door to collect donations. Sjerven said there were 50 different routes assigned to drivers and collectors. Back at the school, the atrium was filled with tables and volunteers set up to sort the donated items based on their expiration date to ensure there is as little work as possible for the Goldstream Food Bank, which will ultimately receive the donations.
“We are trying to collect at least 10,000 non-perishable food items in this one night,” she said. “It’s important to give back to the community, especially right now when there is a lot of need for it … we are hoping to get over 10,000 items tonight, and I think we will be able to do it this year.”