Staff and students at Williams Lake Secondary school donated 3,000 pounds or 4,122 cans of food to the Salvation Army food bank on June 13.
And they know it weighed that much, thanks to the efforts of teacher Lynn Capling’s Grade 10 math class students.
“We were learning about indirect measurement and switching back and forth between metric and imperial conversions so they weighed the food,” Capling said. “It’s all part of the curriculum.”
The weigh scales in the school are meant for weighing larger volumes than a can of food, so the students stood on the scales, weighed themselves with and without the food to make comparisons, she explained.
A ton of food equals 2,666 cans they learned.
Poverty Challenge Project chair school counsellor Sandee Davis said it’s the first time the school has completed such a large food drive.
“We started on April 19. We had Waffle Wednesdays, which actually happened on Tuesdays, where we served waffles with ice cream for a fundraiser, and every Friday students went to each classroom to pick up donated food,” Davis said.
Augmenting the food donated by students and staff at the school and school board office, was a $1,000 donation from Bruce Combs and Darren Getz on behalf of the Williams Lake Log Haulers Association.
“We used the money to purchase hundreds of cans of food,” said fundraising co-ordinator and school custodian Grant Macleod.
“Staff at the district board office had a challenge between downstairs and upstairs, and the upstairs won totalling 700 items,” he said.
Salvation Army Captain Claudine Kadonaga welcomed the donation and said the food bank was down to one month worth of food on the shelves.
“Our donations were down by 25 per cent at Christmas, but that was OK because our food bank usage in the first quarter was down. Now the usage is increasing again because we have a lot of new clients,” Kadonaga said.
They’ve seen people in between jobs, waiting for EI to kick in, she added. As she watched a small army of students load the cans into the Salvation Army delivery truck she smiled and said she appreciated all the help given by the staff and students to the community.
“This food will go a long way,” she said.
Already Davis and Macleod are plotting for next year’s Poverty Challenge.
“We are going to host a variety show and silent auction on Nov. 23 and are hoping it will be a big event,” Davis said.
Macleod has already proposed a challenge between Lake City Secondary School’s Western and Carson campuses, and said there will also be a challenge between all the elementary schools.
Sibhon Wright, WLSS art teacher, along with four of her students said the school will be hosting an empty soup bowl project in the next school year as well.
Students will create pottery bowls for sale, and hopefully the community will attend, purchase a bowl of soup and take a bowl home with them.
“We will be looking for donation of potters’ skills, soup from restaurants and bread from local bakeries,” Wright said.
The soup night will also feature students sharing their talents, Wright confirmed.