Jacob Hespeler students line track for 2022 food drive

Just under 3,000 non-perishable items were collected during a food drive at Jacob Hespeler Secondary School.

Every year at the high school in Cambridge, a Grade 11 leadership class finds a creative way to entice individuals to donate. This year, the goal was to collect enough items to line the running track behind the school.

The donations were collected for a week and, not only came from the students, but also from neighbors within the community.

“We had a group of teenage boys the other night going in their neighborhood with a wheel barrel collecting food donations from their neighbors,” said teacher Mark Frayne.

“It really plays a part in our community if everyone helps out, and that’s really what I love about this school,” said Daniyah Siddiqui, who is a Grade 11 student at the school.

Initially, students were concerned about reaching their goal as the 400 meter track requires a lot of food to fill. A few last-minute donations ensured that the project would be a success.

Brandon Riggan is also a student in Grade 11 at Jacob Hespeler.

“It’s very surreal to see it all come together so fast because we really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we came up with this idea,” he said. “As soon as we started unloading boxes and putting stuff together, it gave us a little relief that we can actually do this.”

Truck picking up non-perishable food items from Jacob Hespeler Secondary School (Krista Simpson-Welsh/CTV News Kitchener)

The accomplishment of lining the track was enough to be proud of, but Isaiah Ellerby, another Grade 11 student, said these donations are part of a bigger cause.

“In our school, a lot of people have food insecurity,” he said. “So any way you can help that, any way you can be a leader in the school, it’s great.”

All donations were taken by truck to the Cambridge Food Bank on Friday morning.

“We have lots of generous donors in our community but the food is going out the door just as quickly. So something like this will probably last us a week,” said Sarah Tooze from the Cambridge Food Bank.

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