By Daniel Eisenhut
St Patrick’s Day online food drive: care for peers in need
By Daniel Eisenhut
The NAIT Students’ Association (NAITSA) is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Online Food Drive from February 7th to March 9th. People can donate amounts ranging from $2.50 to $80.00 and be entered to win two tickets for the March 12th Oilers game versus Tampa Bay.
The Food Centre is one of the many services NAITSA offers. Students can apply to receive hampers twice per month–once in the first half, and once in the second. The hampers are filled with non-perishable items such as peanut butter, canned food, dried pasta and rice and occasionally hygiene items when available. Each hamper aims to fill 3 days’ worth of food for emergency food security.
Since the start of the hamper program in 2014, NAITSA has fulfilled hundreds of hampers each year. They host drives like the St. Patrick’s Day Online Food Drive to keep the program sustainable and accessible to students. Jessie Burchnall, NAITSA Service Hub coordinator explains that “the monetary donation for this food drive will go directly to NAITSA’s food centre to build food hampers and help students and their families in need.”
In addition to potentially winning tickets to an Oilers game, people who donate to the food centre can feel good knowing they are helping their community. In an anonymous kudoboard, previous recipients told NAITSA and those that sponsored hampers how impactful the hampers were on their lives.
“You don’t know how [much] it means to me, my heart [is] filled with joy, happiness, and love. Even [though] we’re all alone here in your country because our family is back home, you made me feel that I belong to yours,” said one recipient.
To participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Online Food Drive and donate to the food centre, visit NAITSA’s online food drive page. Instead of entering a dollar amount, you can choose how many people you’d like to help, ranging from a meal for a single student ($2.50) to hampers for a month for a family of four ($80). For more information on the food centre, including the criteria to receive a hamper, visit NAITSA’s website.
(Author’s note: As an international student who has benefited twice from the food hamper program, I can say how important and necessary this help is. The food hamper is a spark of hope and care for others. It demonstrates that people care and that no one is alone. Each donation matters and makes a difference.)