When Saugeen District Senior School (SDSS) teacher, Dan Weigand saw what other communities were doing to help out their food banks by collecting food door-to-door, he wondered if the same could be done in Saugeen Shores.
Working with teacher Nancie Darlington-Smith, they broached the subject with students and approximately 120 stepped in to volunteer. Weigand then approached adult groups to see if one would help and, as soon as the Chantry Island Cham-bettes heard about the initiative, they quickly answered the call and the ‘Saugeen Shares’ concept began.
On Saturday, December 6th, the students who were divided into teams with an adult volunteer headed out into the community in the morning going from door-to-door. To their surprise, if people weren’t home, bags of food stuffs were left outside. They returned to the school time and time again to unload vehicles filled with groceries and then headed out again.
In the cafetorium of the school, the Cham-bettes had everything highly organized with tables filled with empty boxes ready to receive the groceries and household items. Boxes were labelled so that each contained items of the same kind. They carefully scrutinized dates on the items and had to eliminate those that were later than the “best before date” usage.
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In the space of two and a half short hours (9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.), boxes upon boxes were filled with items for the Salvation Army Food Bank.
Salvation Army Food Bank Volunteer Co-ordinator for the Christmas Kettle fundraising drive, Diane Thorne, said that it was amazing how the young students had stepped in to help out.
Cham-bettes’ organizer, Martha Bennett, said that this is an important lesson for the students. “This shows them that volunteering can be fun and that helping others is important. The students have been wonderful as have many of their parents who are helping out and the teachers who organized all this on their own time. When our group heard about it, we just naturally stepped in to help. It’s what we are all about and we are already looking forward to next year.”