REGINA — They did again, for the fifth year in a row. Students at Riffel Catholic High School collected 20,375 pounds of food for the Regina and District Food Bank through the Farm Credit Corporation (FCC) Drive Away Hunger campaign, beating last year’s record of 19,132 pounds, and again were tops in Canada.
Cash donations are also accepted, with each dollar converted into $3 of buying power. Using that calculation, the total food collected amounted to 27,308 pounds. With this year’s collection, the Riffel community has brought in close to 90,000 pounds for the Regina Food Bank.
FCC Drive Away Hunger national co-ordinator Julie Graham said this is the 12th year for the program. “Schools have always been involved, and this year 402 high school and elementary schools across Canada participated in the program. Riffel has been participating for five years and has topped the country in each of those years.”
Riffel was one of 30 elementary and high schools in Regina that collected food for the campaign.
The food collected at Riffel filled 29 barrels, which were officially weighed at the end of the annual campaign, then loaded onto an FCC trailer at the back of the school. There was so much food that the Regina Food Bank truck was also called into service. The collection included 90 flats of soup and 300 pounds of baby food.
One of the school activities that encouraged food bank donations was a push-up-a-thon in which donations were received for each push-up completed by participants. Most participants were school athletes.
At the Nov. 26 school assembly, students and staff cheered loudly as 16 brave young men had their legs waxed clean of hair — a result of a promise if the school reached its modest goal of 15,000 pounds.
Regina Food Bank CEO Steve Compton said in an interview that Riffel’s participation has had a positive impact, and not just for the food collected. “Their enthusiasm and school spirit has carried out into other schools and the community. It has created a competition with other schools and that has helped increase the food collected by other schools.”
What Riffel does, said Compton, is really something special.