Edward Milne Community School students have traded their donation boxes for donation jars as they tweak their approach to one of Sooke’s largest food drives of the year.
Grade 12 student Genelle Hill says 10,000 Tonight, an annual event in which hundreds of students and volunteers collect non-perishable food items across the West Shore, will switch to online donations this year and add an online auction to the mix.
In years past, staff and volunteers would weave through Sooke neighbourhoods to pick up items such as pasta sauce, cookies and canned goods over a single night. Now, residents can help out by looking for donation jars placed at Sooke businesses.
Each year, donations collected by EMCS students go towards the Sooke Food Bank. For every dollar donated, the food bank can get $3 worth of food through purchasing power and discounts.
“It was a unanimous decision that we couldn’t let this event go by the wayside,” said Todd Powell, EMCS vice-principal. “We had to pivot no matter what it looked like. It’s such a mainstay in our community.”
In 2019, the three high schools in the Sooke School District collected 43,880 items for the Goldstream and Sooke food banks – 19,000 within EMCS alone.
Hill said this was the first time that EMCS hasn’t collected non-perishables from the community.
The Grade 12 student hopes they can be just as successful this year with the online auction, which continues until Dec. 11.
She added that Home Hardware has donated toolboxes and firepits, and Prestige Hotels has offered gift certificates to their restaurant and spa.
Donations can also be made at bit.ly/EMCS10000Tonight.
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