Alberta students rally to help out food banks

A farm tractor pulling a trailer drove down the streets of Red Deer, Blackfalds, and Lacombe and stopped at eight schools earlier this month.

And each time, hordes of students brought bag after bag of donations for area food banks. More than 2,000 participated in FCC Drive Away Hunger — an 11-year-old program that has collected more than 17 million pounds of food.

“We don’t have exact food numbers yet, since we are still waiting for some totals to come in,” said FCC spokesman Jamie Marcotte. “We estimate it was around 60,000 pounds of food. We’re excited that more than 2,000 kids and five local businesses worked alongside us during the tour.”

More than 850,000 Canadians are assisted by a food bank each month, and 36 per cent of them are children. It’s estimated more than half of people using food banks in 2014 will do so for the first time.

The participating Red Deer schools were Fairview, Grandview, Joseph Welsh, St. Francis of Assisi, and Father Henri Voisin. In Blackfalds, students at Iron Ridge Junior Campus collected food while students at James S. McCormick and Central Alberta Christian schools did the same in Lacombe.

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