Students at Our Lady of Fatima School in Courtland recently raised hundreds of donations for the Helping Hand Food Bank in Tillsonburg.
“I have a group of junior faith ambassadors, we meet on a regular basis and we look at issues within our school and our community as to what can we do to help those around us,” said Cindy Brooke, Grade 4 teacher and faith ambassador for Our Lady of Fatima. “In particular, social justice issues such as helping out the food bank, looking at issues of bullying, poverty, toys drives at Christmas time. We look at issues both within our community but also globally.”
The school held a fundraising campaign to tackle hunger. The food drive was held between Jan. 14-Feb. 4.
“It coincided with the NFL Super Bowl – so we played off of the words of the Super Bowl and our bowl was the Souper Bowl,” said Brooke. “We collected cans of soup on an ongoing basis in each of the classrooms for the Food Bank in Tillsonburg.”
The schools original goal was 280 cans, which was 10 more cans than what was raised the previous year, however, students took the fundraising campaign to heart and instead raised 455 cans of soup by Feb. 4.
“We wanted to challenge the students to think beyond just themselves – we have great lunches everyday here at school and we have a snack program, but not everybody is able to benefit the way they are,” explained Brooke. “So the students really rose to the challenge – one of our classes brought in 101 cans which was amazing.”
Joan Clarkson, Coordinator of the Helping Hand Food Bank, was on hand Wednesday to receive the 455 cans of soup.
“I think that what they’re doing is really good – they want the children to become aware that the child sitting next to them very often, is hungry,” said Clarkson.
With the colder temperatures and difficult weather at this time of year, soup is something that is much appreciated.
“That’s why we’re giving so much extra soup out because it’s needed. We’ve also given each family a thermos for each child, so they can take soup for their lunches at school.”
Brooke said fundraising events like the Souper Bowl help teach students important lessons about how they can have a positive impact both locally and around the world.
“We want our students to learn to think about not just themselves, but the person sitting next to them, the person down the road, the person in the next town, but also globally,” said Brooke. “If we start here in our community, then that can make a big difference for them.”