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PECI students go hungry for Food Bank

It was feast and famine for 50 students at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute raising awareness about hunger and a bountiful donation of more than 500 items for the Picton United Church Food Bank.
The third annual 30-Hour Famine event focuses on what being hungry really means as participants trade in their usual teenage fare of pizza and hamburgers for no-nutrition popsicles and puddings.
“We get to feel what it’s like to be hungry, but it’s easier for us because we did have some food and we know we are going to get food later,” says Stephanie Maurice, a Grade 11 student. “But for the people who actually don’t have food, it’s a much different situation and this helps us realize that.”
Students in Rob Garden’s entreprenureship class planned, organized and executed the event. Initially, they raised funds through a bake sale and jelly bean count contest to provide breakfast before the event and lunch at its conclusion. They also recruited participants and planned activities (sports, games, Rock Band, a scavenger hunt).
“We’ve done more this year than ever before,” says Breanna Miller, a member of the organizing committee. “Each person donated 10 cans of food and at the end of the event we will be taking it all to the food bank, then come back to the school for lunch (hamburgers, cheese and crackers and pickles).”
Their teacher notes it may sound like a cliche, but he’s “pretty proud of these kids”.
“They had four weeks to organize and sign up participants, collect the food and plan activities over the 30 hours – not so easy, especially when they are not eating and sleeping as usual. But you can see by the smiles on their faces that they’ve planned well and kept everyone busy. The amount a food collected was the most ever and the food bank really appreciates the donation at this time of year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
Cassidy Allison, Grade 11, says it was good to experience hunger for a good cause. “It’s for a good cause and we had a fun experience doing it.”
This was the second year Grade 12 student Genai Smith took on the challenge.
“It’s totally worth it,” she said. “During the 30-hour famine we are not thinking about ourselves, we’re thinking about our community. It’s our students’ way of helping out and it’s a fun way.”
Organizing commitee members were Josh Arnold, Breanna Miller, Melissa Heffernan, Paige Smith, Brandon Saunders, Justin Toppings, Stephen Tripp and Olivia Prinzen.

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