School closures aren’t stopping the York Catholic District School Board from ‘Igniting Hope’ in their communities, with schools holding food drives to support local food banks.
The initiative kicks off during Catholic Education Week, which runs May 3 to 10, and continues until the end of the month. “The theme for this year’s celebration is Igniting Hope and I cannot think of a better way to become messengers of hope than by helping those in our communities who are experiencing food insecurity – especially during these unsettling times,” says Director of Education Ab Falconi.
On a school’s designated day, the respective food bank will place special collection bins outside the school’s front entrance. Families are encouraged to walk to the school and place a bag of food and/or personal hygiene items in the bins while making sure they maintain physical distancing and hand hygiene precautions. The food banks will pick up the bins and hold them in a five-day quarantine before unpacking them.
“It is during moments of crisis and despair that as a community of faith, we come together to show kindness, care and solidarity, says Angela Lomuto-Corriero, Principal of St. Padre Pio Catholic Elementary School in Vaughan and food drive organizer. “During this period of school and work closures, more families than ever before are in need of food bank services.”
In Markham, you can donate food for the Markham Food Bank at St. Matthew, St. Patrick and St. Edward schools on Thursday, May 7; at St. John XXIII, All Saints and St. Julia Billiart on Tuesday, May 12; at St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Joseph and Sir Richard Scott on Thursday, May 14; at St. Brigid and St. Mark on Tuesday, May 19; and at St. Benedict and St. Anthony on Thursday, May 21.
Items most in demand include canned and dry food items like canned fruit, vegetables, beans and cereal, rice in small bags, canned milk, diapers (especially larger sizes) and toiletries like soap and shampoo. YCDSB schools in Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Georgina, Aurora, Newmarket and King Township are also holding one-day food drives to support their local food banks.