Delview collected 16,055 non-perishable food items during its annual Thanks for Giving campaign. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Over 16,000 items collected at annual North Delta food drive

Delview Secondary’s Thanks for Giving also brought in $700 in monetary donations

Delview Secondary’s 26th annual Thanks for Giving food drive may not have reached the high-water mark set last year, but the 16,055 non-perishable food items collected will still go a long way to supporting hungry families in Surrey and North Delta.

“Last year we did a lot of pre-collecting and a lot of contests and stuff in the school,” teacher-sponsor Lindsay Bochen said after the event on Oct. 11. “But it’s still right up there with all our other years.”

Last year’s 25th anniversary was a record-setting event for Thanks for Giving, as students gathered 26,411 cans during the one-night drive.

RELATED: North Delta’s Delview Secondary sets new record for one-night food drive

Originally called the Ten-in-One — because the aim was to collect 10,000 cans in one night — Thanks for Giving has been an important part of the school culture for the past 25 years. Now, the food drive typically raises between 15,000 to 20,000 cans a year, as well as monetary donations and recyclables.

But, for the people who are involved year after year, it’s not the numbers that are important.

“What always impresses me is that the school has been able to maintain that commitment for over a quarter of a century,” Ron McNeil said before the event this year. McNeil is one of the founding teachers of the event, and often comes to the opening ceremonies.

“That’s probably the biggest legacy,” he continued. “Who would have ever guessed it would have lasted this long?”

Over the years, McNeil said, he’s seen Thanks for Giving change from being a teacher-organized event to one that’s largely student-driven. And that is one of the things that has kept Thanks for Giving such a prominent part of the school.

“It’s all about the culture that they’ve created,” he said.

That culture is why shop teacher Mark Brown got involved in Thanks for Giving when he started at Delview 10 years ago.

“It was just part of the school culture. I volunteered my time because everyone was doing it, and it was just so much fun,” he said. “You get to see the students in a different light.”

And it was also that culture that got Grade 8 students Amelya Kaied and Autumn Greaves involved for their first canvassing experience this year.

“We thought it was a good cause,” Kaied said. “There’s so much hype about it and seems so fun.

“It was so nice to see their faces,” she continued. “There was this one lady, she thought she had no food. But when she went and looked in her pantry, she … walked down the street just to give it to us.

“So I thought that was pretty awesome.”

After all the canvassing, sorting and counting was done on Oct. 11, the tallies were in: Delview had collected 16,055 non-perishable food items, around $700 (which equals about another 1,000 cans) and an as-yet undetermined amount of recyclables.

When the numbers were revealed on stage, a boo rushed through the audience. But teachers quickly stopped them.

“We’re just happy to get the big group of kids that we do out … giving back to the community,” Bochen said. “No matter what our total is, it’s more about the participation for us.” 



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

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Students heading out into North Delta to collect cans for Delview’s 26th annual Thanks for Giving food drive. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Students figure out their route in advance of the 26th annual Thanks for Giving campaign. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Students heading out into North Delta to collect cans for Delview’s 26th annual Thanks for Giving food drive. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Volunteers sort the cans and other food items brought in during Delview’s Thanks for Giving campaign. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Volunteers sort the cans and other food items brought in during Delview’s Thanks for Giving campaign. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Recyclables were also taken during Delview’s Thanks for Giving food drive, and sorted outside the metal shop. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Delview students take the boxes of cans and non-perishables to the front of the school after the count during the 2018 Thanks for Giving campaign. (Grace Kennedy photo)

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