Rif­fel stu­dents have his­tory of fill­ing shelves

Regina Leader-Post - - FRONT PAGE - JEN­NIFER ACK­ER­MAN jack­er­man@post­media.com

Jaxon Fuchs doesn’t have to rely on a lo­cal food bank to fill an empty stom­ach, but it doesn’t stop him from work­ing hard to make sure the shelves are stocked for those who do.

“We have to help them out be­cause you never know, in the fu­ture we could be in that po­si­tion too,” said Fuchs.

In Grade 12 at Michael A. Rif­fel Catholic High School, Fuchs is one of hun­dreds of stu­dents and staff who raise thou­sands of pounds of food ev­ery year for the Regina Food Bank’s an­nual food drive.

As of Fri­day morn­ing, Fuchs says the school had raised ap­prox­i­mately 33,000 pounds of food — in­clud­ing cash do­na­tions where one dollar equals three pounds of food.

Over the past num­ber of years, the school has do­nated more than 100,000 pounds of food — more than any other high school in the coun­try ac­cord­ing to a Regina Catholic Schools news re­lease.

“The amount of en­ergy and pas­sion they have about help­ing out the food bank is com­pletely hum­bling,” said in­terim CEO of the Regina Food Bank, Todd Sandin. “They’re so in­vested in what we do here.”

This year marks the Regina Food Bank’s 32nd An­nual Food Drive. Their goal is to col­lect 350 tons of food through­out the month of Oc­to­ber.

“The need for us ev­ery fall is dif­fi­cult. Dur­ing the sum­mer months, our do­na­tion lev­els reach a re­ally crit­i­cal level,” said Sandin.

“This food drive al­lows us to stock the shelves well into the early spring months to make sure friends and neigh­bours in need in our com­mu­nity, that we can help them when they need help,” he added.

As of Fri­day morn­ing, the food bank had col­lected 105 tons of food — about one third of their over­all goal.

Sandin said the food drive usu­ally brings in an­other third and the rest gets col­lected through phys­i­cal or on­line do­na­tions through­out the rest of the month.

“We’re very confident that the city will step up again and show us why we’re in the great­est car­ing com­mu­nity,” he said.

To help reach their goal, the food bank dis­trib­uted do­na­tion bags to Regina res­i­dents on Oct. 1 with the hope that res­i­dents will fill the bags with items to be picked up by youth vol­un­teers on Oct. 12.

For those who didn’t re­ceive a do­na­tion bag, any bag will do, just leave it on your doorstep for col­lec­tion by lo­cal youth vol­un­teers start­ing at 9:30 a.m. Satur­day.

“I think the food bank is a great place and if you can help out ... I think that’s some­thing that you should do,” said Sarah Morhart, also a Grade 12 stu­dent at Rif­fel.

For Morhart, giv­ing to the food bank is a way to help those who aren’t as for­tu­nate as her­self.

“It’s nice to give stuff to them be­cause they can’t al­ways pro­vide for them­selves,” she said.

Morhart raised 500 pounds of food this year be­tween cash do­na­tions and phys­i­cal items and Fuchs has raised the equiv­a­lent of 1,000 pounds of food.

Food bank part­ner Ac­cess Com­mu­ni­ca­tions will have vol­un­teers out on the streets be­tween 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Satur­day to col­lect any food do­na­tions that were missed dur­ing the city­wide morn­ing col­lec­tion.

Res­i­dents can also call Ac­cess at 306-205-FOOD to have a vol­un­teer come and col­lect their do­na­tion.

The top 10 most needed items in­clude canned stew, one-litre juices, pow­dered milk, pork and beans, peanut but­ter, canned meat and fish, pasta prod­ucts, soup, baby food, En­falac and Sim­i­lac.

Do­na­tions can also be made on­line through the Regina Food Bank’s Vir­tual Food Drive.

PHO­TOS: BRAN­DON HARDER

Grade 10 stu­dents at Michael A. Rif­fel High School Lu­cas Czinka, sec­ond from left, and Ethan Burns, sec­ond from right, were on hand Fri­day to help Regina Food Bank em­ploy­ees load bar­rels of do­na­tions des­tined for the ta­bles of those in need.

Jaxon Fuchs and Sarah Morhart, Grade 12 stu­dents at Michael A. Rif­fel High School are among those who helped to gather a large food do­na­tion for the Regina Food Bank.

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