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(Posted 9:30 a.m., May 9)
St. Peter students answer the bell once again, collect 40,000 items for the food bank

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Students from St. Peter High School drop off cans of food at the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre food bank marking the end of their annual food drive. This year the students managed to collect over 40,000 food item. Fred Sherwn/Photo

The students at
St. Peter High School in Orléans earned a collective A+ in generosity on Thursday as they delivered nearly 40,000 items to the Orléans-Cumberland food bank collected over the past three weeks.

The annual food drive is a godsend for the food bank which will use the items to stock their shelves for the next seven months.

"This is vital for the food bank," says food bank coordinator Nicole Perras. "In the summer months donations go down because people are away on vacation or at the cottage, and then school starts and people are busy and have other expenses. So these donations will keep us going right up until the end of November, beginning of December when we start are holiday food drive. Without this initiative by the students at St. Petes, we wouldn't exist."

That important message isn't lost on the kids, who come through year after year with tens of thousands of canned goods and other nonperishable items. With approximately 2,000 students enrolled at the school, each student had to collect an average of 20 items each to reach the 40,000 total.

St. Peter High School principal Norma MacDonald says the school emphasizes the importance of the food drive through school announcements and letters sent home to parents.

"Some of the students actually gave up their Saturday last weekend to go and stand in front of grocery stores to collect food items. They've given up their evenings to do this and we have busy children in this area who do various extracurricular activities so I think that speaks volumes," says MacDonald. "Every year we do this and every year I'm amazed by the commitment and generosity shown by our students and their parents."

This year's Canley Cup, handed out to the homeroom that collects the most food items, went to Mr. Butler's homeroom which collected 2,957 items.

While most of the 40,000 cans were delivered to the food bank in school buses and a truck donated by the Paul Rushforth Real Estate Team, the Grade 7s and 8s delivered cans in person as they walked the 3.5 kms to the food bank and back in what has become an annual tradition.

The school also held a BBQ at the lunch hour, with the proceeds going to the food bank, followed by the Canley Caberet in which members of the staff perform skits for the students.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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