Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
By: Erik Dickson
For children around the world, October 31 is important for one reason: candy.
Unfortunately for many families in the local Niagara Region, not knowing where the next meal will come from is a reality.
On Oct. 31, 42 Brock volunteers spent their afternoon and early evening scouring several local neighbourhoods collecting non-perishable food items as part of the annual Trick or Eat food drive.
Decked in full costume, the volunteers collected enough food for about 13 large bins on behalf of Community Care, St. Catharines & Thorold - a non-profit organization that distributes food to individuals or families in need.
"We couldn’t believe how much food students were bringing back with them once they finished their designated area," said Lauryn Wiles, Campus Community Development Assistant for SLCE. "Our volunteers were dedicated to collecting as much food as possible."
Focusing on the neighbourhoods closest to Brock, students had passed out flyers advertising the food drive, and were happy with the response they received from both students and the community.
"We were extremely overwhelmed with the positive response from community members," said Wiles. "I was impressed and touched by the dedication of our volunteers as well as the generosity of St. Catharines and Thorold residents."
Although the Trick or Eat campaign is not new to Brock, it is the first year that the Student Life & Community Experience department has taken the lead.
Trick or Eat is a seasonal campaign that is part of Meal Exchange, a student-founded charity that was created to address hunger across the country. According to the Trick or Eat web site, over 100 communities are participating this year.
As is the case with other food drives throughout the year, all of the food items that were collected will go to Community Care of St. Catharines & Thorold.
According to the Community Care web site, about 3,000 pounds of food is distributed per day, with children making up 33 per cent of those in need.
"It was amazing to see so many students spending their Halloween volunteering for such a great cause," said Wiles. "I’m sure there were a lot of Halloween parties or other activities that they could have went to, but instead, they spent their time giving back to the community. I think that says a lot about our student body."
For more information on how you can contribute to Community Care, visit www.communitycares.ca.