Middle schools scare away hunger

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November 4, 2014 9:37 AM

The WE Team at Bishop Lloyd Middle School l, before setting out to knock on doors and collect food donations: Emma Thomas, Tyler Merilees, Gavin Miller, Jordyn Kort, Damon Cowan, Merritt Schille and Justin Vance. - Jon Clarke Photo

WE Teams from middle schools across Lloydminster took part in the national event, WE Scare Hunger is an initiative that sees kids going to houses the night before Halloween to collect non-perishable food items for the food banks.

Last year, the total food collected amounted to about 1,300 pounds, but this year was a little different, because schools in the community are now partnering up to make a bigger impact. Bishop Lloyd Middle School served as a home base for College Park members of the WE Team as well, while E.S. Laird Middle School held an event in their area of town.

“This is the first year we’ve had all three middle schools working together, so it’s pretty cool,” said targeted skills teacher from Bishop Lloyd, Derek Hyland. “Between the three of us, we can get a pretty good turnout.”

There were about 25 students at each school participating, said Hyland. Speaking for Bishop Lloyd, he said the WE Team partnered with Free the Children and has committed to one local action and one global action per year.

“We do more than that, but one of the things we do for our community is the WE scare hunger event,” said Hyland.

Recently, the group has also been raising money to build a school in Ecuador.

“It makes me feel good that there’s someone out there, trying to do as much as we can to make the world a better place,” said Justin Vance, a student and member of the WE Team.

The decision to make WE Scare Hunger happen was an easy one said Hyland, after recognizing the need for food in the city when the months grow colder. The group has been working with the food band for years, but a recent visit there really drove home the need for donations.

“We’re hoping to make a good difference in the food bank halls,” said Hyland. At the beginning of the year, Lloydminster middle school kids made the choice to become part of the WE team by joining them in a get-together evening.

“We do a bunch of initiative tasks and get to know each other, work to together, creating a small team of students who will kind of run and plan everything,” said Hyland. “Then we have a larger group of students who will come out to all the events and help out with stuff.”

Planning and preparing for initiatives like this takes time, so the WE group meets two or three Wednesdays at lunch each month. But for their time committed to good causes, there are definite payoffs. This year, the food bank will get some extra non-perishable foods for people in need and kids in Ecuador will have a new school to study in.

Kids also get a small reward for the big differences they make. This Friday, the team is travelling to Saskatoon for WE Day, a free concert and motivational event for WE teams across the world.

“It’s all free for students who have earned their way there through impacts and through making the world a better place. And you can’t buy a ticket, you earn it,” said Hyland.

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