Youth Leadership In Action award presented to St. Joseph High School students for Halloween food bank project

The Saskatoon Food Bank presented their first Youth Leadership In Action award to St. Joseph Catholic High School students for more than a decade of service and support through a Halloweening for Hunger project. (Submitted photo)

Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools / Saskatoon Food Bank

At an annual academic awards ceremony on Oct. 29, students at St. Joseph High School were presented the inaugural Youth Leadership In Action award from the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre.

For the last 12 years, hundreds of student volunteers have forgone an annual opportunity for sackfuls of candy to collect boxes and bags full of non-perishable food items for the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre. They call the initiative Halloweening for Hunger.

Their efforts, under the guidance of teacher Rachelle Kelln, have helped refill shelves at the Food Bank after the busy Thanksgiving weekend. To date, over 120,000 pounds of food has been collected, including a record 24,000 pounds last year.

“It started small with just a handful of students and has grown into a project that students look forward to every year,” said Kelln. “The number of students, the time and effort they put in, and their desire to serve their community is quite impressive. It’s hard to believe this will be the thirteenth year.”

Deborah Hamp, Director of Operations and Engagement at the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre said: “We are delighted to see the continued support from these wonderful students and staff at St. Joe’s. Their initiative has led several schools to get involved in this significant food drive that raises phenomenal amounts of food to provide the much-needed support to our community. St. Joe’s influence goes beyond the school community, this food drive has motivated even companies like Rosenau Transport Ltd. to extend their long term support to this initiative as well by providing a 40′ truck for the food drive. We want to thank everyone who is involved in making Halloweening for Hunger a success.”

Several schools from across the city will be joining St. Joseph High School collecting non-perishable food items again this Halloween.