St. Thomas More students collected 75,000 pounds of canned and non-perishable food at last year’s Halloween 4 Hunger campaign. (Photo courtesy of Natalia Sepulveda)

Halloween 4 Hunger aims high

By 
  • October 24, 2013

It’s no trick that students at St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, Ont., aren’t looking for treats this Halloween. Instead, they want non-perishable food items so they can surpass a half-million pounds of food collected since the school’s first Halloween 4 Hunger campaign began in 2000.

This Oct. 31, St. Thomas More students — for the 14th year — will be canvassing west and central Hamilton neighbourhoods to collect food for the local Neighbour 2 Neighbour, which benefits more than 6,000 people, half of them children.

Run out of the school cafeteria, 830 students will visit about 23,000 homes, plus local businesses. An additional 100 students will be stationed in the cafeteria.

If they surpass this year’s goal of 76,543.21 pounds of food, the students will reach the 500,000-pound mark. Last year, the goal was 70,000 pounds of canned food and non-perishable goods; students collected 75,000 pounds.

Natalia Sepulveda, a Grade 10 student who is public relations media co-ordinator for the campaign, believes this year’s goal is realistic. Students have been preparing since August, generating publicity, getting sponsors and prizes, mapping routes and recruiting volunteers.

“Last year, I was one of the volunteers collecting food, and by the end of the night, I saw the car floor over-filled with food,” said Sepulveda. “We all need to realize how much our neighbours are in need. Maybe the person beside us could have no food. Our school has a food bank for the students’ families who don’t have much.”

According to a press release, Halloween 4 Hunger is the second largest one-day food drive in Canada and “our campaign accounted for one-third of all Halloween 4 Hunger proceeds over North America.”

The St. Thomas More campaign is a recognized cause by Free the Children, an organization dedicated to stopping the exploitation of children worldwide.

To follow the food drive’s progress on Twitter, see www.twitter.com/H4H_stm.

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